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Please begin with an informative title:

The March 2001 study into the bridge that collapsed Wednesday evening advised against refurbishing the bridge because of "high costs."


You must enter an Intro for your Diary Entry between 300 and 1150 characters long (that's approximately 50-175 words without any html or formatting markup).

The StarTribune of Minneapolis/St. Paul has posted the results from a March 2001 engineering study (PDF) conducted by engineering faculty at the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities on the I-35W bridge over the Mississippi River. The document is full of engineering details that are well over my head, but this passage from the abstract is a little chilling, given today's events:

The bridge's deck truss has not experienced fatigue cracking, but it has many poor fatigue details on the main truss and floor truss system. The research helped determine that the [sic] fatigue cracking of the deck truss is not likely, which means that the bridge should not have any problems with fatigue cracking in the foreseeable future.

As a result, Mn/DOT [the Minnesota Department of Transportation] does not need to prematurely replace this bridge because of fatigue cracking, avoiding the high costs associated with such a large project.

[Boldface added.]

For context (of arguable relevance), the executive branch of the Minnesota state government is currently run by Tim Pawlenty, a strongly anti-tax Republican who is rumored to have designs on the vice-presidency. Pawlenty has of late come under harsh attack from progressives for obstructing sufficient funding for transportation and infrastructure--including a recent veto of an infrastructure-funding bill passed by the majority-DFL (Democrat Farmer Labor--the state Democratic party) legislature.

It should be noted, however, that the March 2001 study quoted above predates Pawlenty's term; when the above-quoted study was performed, the head of the state executive branch was independent Governor Jesse Ventura.

Extended (Optional)

Originally posted to Rieux on Wed Aug 01, 2007 at 09:16 PM PDT.

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