Bridge Falls Into Mississippi River

Discussion in 'World Events' started by madanthonywayne, Aug 2, 2007.

  1. madanthonywayne Morning in America Registered Senior Member

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    12,461
    This is wierd. Apparently the bridge just collapsed for no reason during rush hour traffic!

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  3. madanthonywayne Morning in America Registered Senior Member

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    Here's a link to a site with a video of the bridge.
    http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2007/08/018097.php
    They're reporting that at least fifty cars went down with the bridge. They're either in the river or on the sections that haven't sunk. The city has ordered every ambulance it has to the site and people are coming in boats to try to rescue the survivors.
     
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  5. original sine Registered Senior Member

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    Yeah, a family member of mine drove across that bridge no less than 10 minutes before the collapse. I live nearby but I wasn't able to see how the rescue efforts were progressing, as it was starting to rain and getting darker by the minute. Hopefully those injured can recover quickly, and as with any tragedy, my sympathies to those who have lost someone.
     
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  7. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    29,747
    That was the main bridge on the main freeway in the entire metro area. It was central, just coming out of downtown Minneapolis. It fell into the barge channel and river just above the Lock and Dam at St Anthony Falls.

    The span arch fell about 60 feet. The odd thing is that the end spans fell too, at both ends - they should be more or less independent of the span arch.

    Steel bridges used to fall like this fairly often, in the early days of industrial steel - but not since things like metal fatigue were recognized, and regular inspections made, and maintenance schedules enforced.

    35W is a federal highway, an interstate.
     
  8. Mr.Spock Back from the dead Valued Senior Member

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    horrific. i wish fast recovery to the injured and their families, from all my heart.
     
  9. Bells Staff Member

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    I agree.

    I suspect the magnitude of this tragedy will take a few days to literally pan out. Awful!

    Does anyone know how this happened? Aging infrastructure, roadworks? Those poor people.. the horror they must have faced when it collapsed.

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  10. Zakariya04 and it was Valued Senior Member

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    Dear All,

    I heard about this disaster on the way to work. Hopefully the emergency services etc will keep on top of things to limit the scale of the situation. My thoughts go out to the injured and families, and i wish a speedy recovery for them all.

    The investigations into this will no doubt highlight how this happened. for now i will not comment on this aspect.

    ~~~~~~~
    take it ez zak


    original - how has this effected you and things around you.
     
  11. MacGyver1968 Fixin' Shit that Ain't Broke Valued Senior Member

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    Man...that is awful. I feel for the families of those killed.
     
  12. lucifers angel same shit, differant day!! Registered Senior Member

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    agreed!!

    it could've been a lot worse.

    they say the bridge was inspected just last year, but bridges just dont collapse on they're own "do they"?
     
  13. darksidZz Valued Senior Member

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    terrorists?
     
  14. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

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    This happened just after state Republicans bragged about rejecting an emergency spending bill to fix state infrastructure.

    Minnesota's Republican governor, Tim Pawlenty, has his eyes firmly fixed on higher office. Drinking deep of the "no new taxes" Kool-Aid, he has been a consistent opponent of infrastructure investment. Even though the state's gas tax hasn't been raised in more than 20 years, Pawlenty has fought bipartisan attempts to raise the gas tax by 5-10 cents per gallon to pay for badly needed infrastructure repair.[kos]

    Of course Fox "News" reports it differently:

    [Norm] Coleman, a Republican, noted that even before the collapse he had already introduced a bill calling for better inspection of the nation's road infrastructure including bridges.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2007
  15. original sine Registered Senior Member

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    924
    Don't start pointing fingers yet. Coleman and Pawlenty are two different people.

    Zakariya, thanks. Personally, I'm not affected by any injured relatives or friends. I also don't use that bridge often enough to be troubled. It will definitely have an effect on the commute in this area and is only a burden on the people here. Unfortunately the incident as of now is not yet resolved, and rescue crews are still working to clear the rubble, submerged cars, and victims.
     
  16. te jen Registered Senior Member

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    According to http://www.bts.gov/publications/sta...rtation_statistics_2006/html/table_01_07.html, there were 594616 bridges in the U.S. in 2005. Of those, 12.7% are rated "deficient" and 13.5% are "functionally obsolete". I'm not sure exactly what "deficient" means, but obviously a bridge can fail without having been identified as a problem. Seems likely to me that the stats and common sense indicate that one in ten bridges are not to be trusted.

    Thing is, the bulk of the bridges built since the 1960s are of welded steel - before that they were bolted and/or riveted. Structures assembled with bolted/riveted fittings are more easily inspected and go through a more gradual failure process as rivets stretch and flexure deforms the fasteners. Welded structures can either have preexisting flaws or else develop microcracks from decades of the load/unload cycles from traffic. Bridges in northern climates also suffer from cold/heat cycles and salt corrosion. To me, all this means that aging bridges will probably fail with increasing frequency despite efforts to inspect and maintain them. Maybe not so dramatically and lethally, but it certainly is a problem.

    The closest bridge to my home runs across a creek, spans about a hundred feet and is about thirty feet above the water. It is riveted steel, was built in 1935 (!) and when I stand on it I can feel a lot of motion in the structure when heavy trucks drive over it. It's restricted to vehicles of 15 tons or less. I suppose it could collapse at some point (though this morning I noted a bridge inspection crew there - coincidence?) and the consequences would not be pleasant if I drove into the resulting chasm at 45 mph.
     
  17. Orleander OH JOY!!!! Valued Senior Member

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    Yeah, I hope people think of that bridge the next time they want to bitch about their taxes going up or being stuck in construction.
     
  18. Baron Max Registered Senior Member

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    I think it shows us a general loss of perspective in news events. For example, on the very same day as the bridge collapse, there were ten times, perhaps 20 times, as many people murdered in the USA. And that doesn't even count the number of people killed in auto accidents ...which is much, much greater than the 4 who were killed by the bridge collapse. I be willing to bet that there were more murders in the state on that same day!

    But we don't hear about those, do we? Nope, it's not sensational enough ....and we, the news consumers eat it up and post about it as if it's something horrendous.

    Geez, just proves that we've all lost our basic perspective of life and death. And it also proves just how much of a news whore we all are.

    Baron Max
     
  19. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

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    We can't prevent most murders, but we can build bridges that stay up.
     
  20. superstring01 Moderator

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    Who want's to hear about someone getting shot-- that's pretty goddamned commong place anymore. But, a major bridge collapsing-- that's news... and, well, that's what the media is supposed to support. It's neither good, nor bad. It just is.

    Where's Ganymede when you need a good conspiracy theory!?

    ~String
     
  21. Baron Max Registered Senior Member

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    Obviously we can't prevent bridges from collapsing either! So what the fuck is the difference?

    Baron Max
     
  22. nietzschefan Thread Killer Valued Senior Member

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    Sure adds another argument in the old 'work from home' debate. Fucking employers that demand people be at a desk, where they pretend to work. A great many people could easily work from home, and are "not allowed".
     
  23. te jen Registered Senior Member

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    I agree with you (!). Reminds me of a point I made some years ago that 9-11 was equivalent to three weeks' worth of death toll on U.S. roads, but that nobody gives a shit about those people. So there's been a hundred 9-11s worth of road kills since 9/11/2001, and everybody's okay with that - it's the price of doing business in the modern world.
     

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