Highway Bridge Collapses over Mississippi in Minneapolis

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Knightsword, Aug 1, 2007.

  1. Knightsword

    Knightsword Fire in the North TFW2005 Supporter

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    The 35 west Highway bridge over the Mississippi river collapsed within the past hour, currently theres no numbers to the total numbers of the victims, but theres many vehicles shown on the bridge from cars to trucks and a school bus. Nor to what may have been the cause. I'm still watching the news in shock.
     
  2. pscoop

    pscoop Dead inside

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    That sucks, I hope people are okay.
     
  3. TrickyDisco

    TrickyDisco <b><font color=blue>Voted TFW2005's Sexiest Female

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    Yeah, I'm following this on the news channels now....looks awful :( 

    I hope they manage to get people out of there as soon as possible....
     
  4. Star Sabre James

    Star Sabre James <b>The JUICE</b> TFW2005 Supporter

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    Last edited: Aug 1, 2007
  5. ChaoCatcher

    ChaoCatcher Anarchist Autobot

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    Hi, Minnesotans. ChaoCatcher from Texas checking in here - just gonna re-post here what I put in the Minnesota toy sightings thread - sorry, mods, didn't think to check here first. Anyway...

    I've been watching the footage of the bridge collapse on CNN for the last 90 minutes or so. All my best wishes are with you. I work for a civil engineering company in Dallas, we used to do bi-annual structural & safety inspections of bridges and culverts for the Texas state highway department. Just the fact that something like this has happened is simply shocking. Our company has had no hesitations about getting TxDOT to close down a bridge if we detected even the SMALLEST problem that MIGHT cause a catastrophe like this down the road. With that said...

    My first reaction when I saw this was wondering how many people got hurt or worse. My SECOND reaction was, "How the hell did something like this happen?!" If this were a case of the bridge simply "wearing out" due to age and wear-and-tear, the signs of something imminent would've shown up in a safety inspection a long time ago. If so, Minnesota's highway department has a LOT to answer for if symptoms of this problem had shown up previously and they had done nothing about it for whatever reason. If NOT... the OTHER possibility is a serious design flaw that was overlooked and remained hidden all these years and suddenly decided to spring its ugly head. In which case, the highway department STILL has a lot to answer for. Engineering is a serious field - simple human error in designing and/or construction CAN cost lives.

    Simply terrible, all around. Sounds like the first injury reports are coming out now... once again, all my best to you in Minnesota, friends.
     
  6. Master Megatron

    Master Megatron Action Bastard

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    The first thing I thought when I saw the news on TV was the bridge scene in Akira. Yeah though, that's pretty bad. Wonder if it was a design error or weight.
     
  7. smkspy

    smkspy is one nice fucking kitty

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    Poor people...
     
  8. Knightsword

    Knightsword Fire in the North TFW2005 Supporter

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    its a 40+ year old single span bridge that was currently under repair work
     
  9. Emperor Megatron

    Emperor Megatron Something goes here

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    Thing is, this bridge was undergoing what MnDot is calling just maintenance. It was down to 1 lane in both directions at the time of collapse with cars bumper-to-bumper going about 10mph from what I've heard.

    Our highway funding has been subar for over a decade and this bridge should have been replaced years ago anyway because of the amount of traffic is carries everyday (semi-trucks can't take 35E in St. Paul because of a city ordinance).

    I also heard that maintenance and/or inspection was not done last year and was being done right now. Not much is known right now but obviously something serious happened. It's possible the construction workers may have done something accidentally/not knowing that caused the bridge to collapse too.
     
  10. Aaron

    Aaron Master of Crystalocution Moderator Content Contributor

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    Wow... as another engineer that knows how bridges are generally over-designed by as much as is possible, I'm in utter shock. The river doesn't look like it's quite wide enough for a boat of much size to have hit it. Maybe something in the maintenance process caused the collapse?

    Or there's the big T word...
     
  11. Emperor Megatron

    Emperor Megatron Something goes here

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    Terrorism has been ruled out and this bridge is near a lock and dam.
     
  12. Aaron

    Aaron Master of Crystalocution Moderator Content Contributor

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    The thing is though that bridges are built to excessive standards. If it's only expected to carry X load it's built to carry 20x or 50x. It's not as if it has one bolt, or rather if intelligently designed has one bolt, that if removed will just make it asplode. Not to jump on you or anything, I'm just still astounded from this, as I know that these things are built to a damned high level of redundance, and are inspected regularly.
     
  13. ChaoCatcher

    ChaoCatcher Anarchist Autobot

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    Hmm... that sounds like the more likely possibility, although I wouldn't rule out a boat hitting it. But I'm sure if a boat collision were the case, we'd have heard about it by now (reminds me of the boat collision that severely damaged a bridge on I-40 in my home state of Oklahoma just a few years ago). I just now heard the 40-year-old age on the bridge myself, too. I think we can rule out a design FLAW, if the bridge is that old and managed to stay up that long. And now they're saying it was given a "clean bill of health" on an inspection three years ago. Well... speaking from my aforementioned bridge inspection experience... a "previous inspection" doesn't always mean a whole lot. Our company caught major problems in bridges that previous inspectors either completely missed or glossed over.

    For example, about 8 years ago we were checking bridges in San Antonio. There was this very TALL and very OLD (I'm talking 80+ years!) bridge somewhere on the south edge of town that still had some very light traffic over it... and the concrete at the abutments was literally CRUMBLING away in HUGE chunks. How in HELL previous inspectors had signed off on that as being "safe" is way beyond me. When my inspector/engineer/friend and I saw this, we were immediately on the phone to TxDOT, and they had that thing completely closed down to traffic within HOURS... after being signed off as "safe" by previous inspectors for YEARS!
     
  14. Knightsword

    Knightsword Fire in the North TFW2005 Supporter

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    MNDoT was on the air, there was no work being done on the super structure.
     
  15. Dark_Convoy

    Dark_Convoy Old Bastard Veteran

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    Holy shit - I just heard about this on the radio.

    This is nuts.
     
  16. Wreckgar

    Wreckgar Anthony Stark Veteran

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    gotta love the professionalism of the FOX broadcast. The guy is reporting wearing a t-shirt.

    As for the incident, I am very very curious as to how this suddenly happened. Unless the maintence was more that just general maintence and they were just covering it up.
     
  17. Aaron

    Aaron Master of Crystalocution Moderator Content Contributor

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    That makes me wonder again if it isn't the big T word. Everything I've heard on CNN says that Homeland Security doesn't think it was anything, but depending on what/how it went down it might not take much. I know that some things can get glossed over, but to have such a large bridge just go poof...


    And as much as I'd like to keep CNN on, some of the questions to the head doctor guy are just asinine. I know that reporters need to be in depth, but asking if the doctor himself had any bridge collapse rescue training, c'mon.
     
  18. suburbanzombie

    suburbanzombie Well-Known Member

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    the repairs were only to the surface, filling potholes & such and said they wouldn't of had any effect.

    so far only 1 fatality, thank god noone i knoew was there, but i had a couple friends VERY close to it (like drove that bridge a half hour or less before the collapse).
     
  19. Knightsword

    Knightsword Fire in the North TFW2005 Supporter

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    thats the only fatality that made it to a hospital, theres still gonna be many more in the coming hours
     
  20. ChaoCatcher

    ChaoCatcher Anarchist Autobot

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    Then my best guess would be that previous "inspections" don't mean squat and that 40-year-old bridge was in dire need of repair and simply wasn't getting it. Steel and concrete, if properly employed, can last decades... but they certainly don't last forever.

    True on both the design and inspection points. For the Average Joe not in the know, when the federal government started the interstate highway system back in the '50s (or was it the '60s?), it was with the intention of having a limited-access, high-speed system of roads for the military to be able to move people and equipment - including not-so-light TANKS - quickly and easily anywhere in the country. These bridges are designed to be able to stand INDEFINITELY beneath the weight of bumper-to-bumper traffic just sitting on the bridge (the term for this is "dead load," as opposed to "live load," which is traffic simply MOVING across the bridge without stopping).

    So once again, I think we're looking at a poor maintenance (and possibly poor inspection) problem... a problem which has now cost lives.

    <Sigh...>
     

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