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View Diary: I-35 Bridge Collapse Victims Offered $40 Mil (24 comments)

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  •  Correct (1+ / 0-)
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    unterhausen

    as my original diary points out, there were two renovations of the bridge over its 40 year life, one in 1977 and one in 1998.

    I believe the 1998 project was the more significant, with lanes added (which means more cars/trucks could use the bridge and thus more weight was added) and the concrete which the lanes are constructed of was thickened from 6.5 inches to 8.5 inches. I don't know, but I assume new larger/additional reinforcing bars were part of this new pavement-- bottom line is the additional concrete and reinforcing bars added more weight to the structure.

    Ultimately the changes (increases) made to the weight load supported by the bridge means the original bridge design cannot be faulted for the collapse, simply because the original design was not intended to safely support the additional weight load/stresses placed on the bridge with the two renovations, the additional cars/truck useage over the years, and the concentrated load presented by the construction materials stacked on the south end of the bridge prior to the collapse last year.

    therefore any statements by the NTSB and the state of Minnesota regarding the collapse being due to the original "bad/faulty design" of the bridge are total bullshit and can only be seen as an attempt to protect the state and the contractor responsible for stacking the materials on the south end of the bridge from litigation by the victims of the collapse.

    I continue to maintain this bridge was thoroughly analyzed by structural engineers either hired by the state, or working for MNDOT directly, prior to the 1998 expansion.

    that analysis would have most assuredly looked at the gusset plates in question (which now all of a sudden are being declared "too thin") and determined the additional load presented by the increase in lanes, increase in weight of the concrete pavement, increase in car & truck useage of the bridge may have exceeded the structural capacity of the bridge to safely support (again, without major structural repairs to the bridge which of course cost money).

    the analysis would have also certainly looked at the fatigue/corrosion issue with the aging structural components-- which in fact decrease the ability of the structure to support the original design loads, at the same time additional loads were obviously added to the bridge.

    I can see where this is going-- the state was probably warned back in 1997 the additional load presented by the proposed renovation was pushing the structural capacity of the bridge beyond the safety factor, and/or they were told the additional load could be supported by replacing key components like the gusset plates with larger, heavier gusset plates capable of supporting the new load-- but somebody at the state refused to do so because this presented a "problem" with additional cost and/or increased length of the construction schedule to do the work in 1998 which also presented an "inconvenience" to bridge users, particularly  companies who have to get their products back and forth across this bridge every day.

    if the gusset plates were indeed "too thin", the state knew this since 1997 (or earlier) and did nothing about it safety-wise, therefore the state is culpable for the collapse of the bridge.

    $40 Million is not enough punishment for this sort of incompetence and blatant disregard for the safety of our citizens-- certain engineers need to have their licenses revoked and state government officials need to be removed from office.

    "Cigna cannot decide who is going to live and who is going to die." -- Nataline's mother

    by Superpole on Sun Mar 02, 2008 at 06:44:51 AM PST

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