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View Diary: MN knew the bridge could collapse (256 comments)

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  •  No. Those who declared the bridge 'safe' do (5+ / 0-)

    I'm not a big believer in Hammurabi's laws but this is ridiculous.  If they couldn't fix the bridge then they could at least reduce it to 2 lanes each way from 3 (partial closure) until a replacement or real 'fix' could be devised.

    •  it WAS down to two lanes (6+ / 0-)

      For road repairs (source - me driving across it regularly).  

      The engineers did NOT know it was in imminent danger, and the front page headline here is irresponsible and unethical, not to mention damned embarrassing.

      If the engineers had believed it was in imminent danger of collapse, they would have condemned it, and politics be damned.

      "I want to be taken seriously as an artist."

      by Leggy Starlitz on Mon Aug 20, 2007 at 02:30:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No.... (5+ / 0-)

        The documents provide the first look inside MnDOT's decision-making process as engineers weighed benefits and risks, wrestling with options to prevent what they believed was a remote but real possibility of the eight-lane freeway bridge failing.

        They knew.  It just wasn't "immediate" enough.

        This isn't a reflection on the engineers necessarily.  But it is a reflection on the level of risk that politicians are willing to let us live by.

        •  The Comment About Reluctance to Fully Inspect.. (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Louise, NYFM, lemming22, SacredCowTipper

          ...the bridge to get a real and complete picture of what its weaknesses MIGHT be is spot on.

          Having spent 25 years in the chemical process industry..I have seen more than a few EH&S managers counsel against carrying out ground water studies or any sort of evaluation of potential ground contamination for fear that if the study was done..then the corporation would have full knowledge of the situation.

          Its the difference between NEGLIGENT and WILLFUL that is driving these decisions...in a word..or rather 3 words..CYA...

          .

          "Every good Christian should line up and kick Jerry Falwell's ass." ------Barry Goldwater

          by chicagorich on Mon Aug 20, 2007 at 04:46:16 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  If the Legal System... (0+ / 0-)

            ...would simply interpret willful ignorance as being on par with willful action or willful violation of law...instead of just negligent behavior..these type of situations would all but disappear.

            As things stand now..there is too much incentive for people in positions of power..who should know better..to close their eyes and simply not ask the relevant questions that should be asked..

            "Every good Christian should line up and kick Jerry Falwell's ass." ------Barry Goldwater

            by chicagorich on Mon Aug 20, 2007 at 05:05:34 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  But it turns out there was a big pile of gravel (3+ / 0-)

        sitting on the deck awaiting use for the resurfacing project.  This would have imposed a fairly eccentric and concentrated load on which a properly flagged bridge would have been under limitations and restricted use to avoid such stresses.  They seemed to think the bridge was just fine as a 3 lane bridge that happened to have one lane close for the project.  The DOT were definitely looking at best case scenarios instead of worst, and not recognizing its impaired performance.

        •  the deck was built to military specs (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Joe Bob

          It was designed to support the load of bumper-to-bumper military trucks carrying tanks.  It MIGHT be that the gravel was the problem, but there's no real proof.  Keep in mind that bridge was over a quarter mile long, and that gravel pile had to fit in less than two lanes of space.  It wasn't that big, relative to bridge size.

          And at the time of the collapse, 6 out of 8 lanes were closed... they were getting ready to fully close the bridge for the night in order to do construction.

          "I want to be taken seriously as an artist."

          by Leggy Starlitz on Mon Aug 20, 2007 at 02:46:34 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Thank you Leggy. My sentiments exactly. (3+ / 0-)

        Nobody was trying to kill people here.  Let's get realistic, everyone.

      •  Since when do engineers have that kind of clout? (0+ / 0-)

        I have worked in Twin City engineering firms, and let me tell you...engineers work for the person paying them. Not for the common good.

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