Bridge Falls Into Mississippi River

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

  1. John99 Banned Banned

    It is not even close to being equal. Anyone here gets in their car and smashes it into a pole killing him\herself is not like the bridge collapse even taking into account all accidents that happened over any specific period.

    Much depends on method of death, and as far as traffic accident it depends on who dies and their status in society otherwise nobody really cares.
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  3. madanthonywayne Morning in America Registered Senior Member

    Come on. This is no excuse to raise taxes. Cut out all the BS earmarks and that should free up enough money to fix all the damned bridges! Or maybe instead of spending taxpayer money on football stadiums, we could repair the damned bridges.

    Taxes are too damned high already. The government will just have to figure a way to get by on the $840 billion a year it currently spends.
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  5. te jen Registered Senior Member

    There's no difference. Dead is dead, and everything else is just spectacle. This bridge collapse will result in the deaths of twenty or thirty or forty or fifty people - as Baron said more than that will die on the roads today. And tomorrow. And the next day. Some quietly and banally, some in dramatic ways that stimulate the emotions and make good copy. But there's no difference. People respond viscerally to disaster and mass death, especially when it involves things that they are slightly nervous about anyway, like bridges, airplanes and tall buildings.
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  7. leopold Valued Senior Member

    anyone that is familiar with how bridges are designed and built will view this with a certain amount of uncertainty. bridges are designed with a triple safety design. this means that the bridge is designed for the maximum amount of weight the bridge can carry indefinitely. that weight is tripled and the bridge is designed for the new weight.
    the maximum weight is calculated by assuming fully loaded cars, trucks, and semis are stalled on the bridge. this weight is then assumed to remain there forever. 99% of the time bridges won't carry a third of their rated load because traffic is moving across it. only when traffic is stalled on the bridge is it becoming loaded. even then the load is nowhere near the maximum load capacity of the bridge.

    so, did this bridge "just collapse"? or did it have help.
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2007
  8. superstring01 Moderator

    Exactly madanthonywayne! I mean, for Christ's sake: one FUCKING bridge collapsed in the past 12-odd years! Shit happens. People (from time to time) build something that doesn't last for eons... and despite the best expenditures (and, I'd hardly say that the USA doesn't pump pleanty of money into its bridges-- I'm sure the "bash America" crowd will cling to this one) sometimes all the best engineering in the world fails.

    It's an imperfect world. Bad stuff happens. And, that it seems to only happen once in a VERY, VERRRRRRRRRRY long time is a good thing, but yet still inevitable.

  9. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

    Are there any old bridges that have lasted a very long time?
  10. milkweed Valued Senior Member

    I pretty much stopped using that bridge in Minneapolis last August because I thought it had become too dangerous. Now I am finding out other bridges I use occasionally are in worse shape that the one that fell.

    Inspections are occurring all around the country because of this. I would take note of your states response. If they are doing their job, severe restrictions should be going up on at least some of them, if not total shut downs.

    If you dont see that happen, you might want to find other routes.
  11. milkweed Valued Senior Member

    On this count, concerning this bridge, your wrong. It was not inevitable, it was avoidable.

    Quote from a local opinion piece:
    "If it wasn't an act of God or the hand of hate, and it proves not to be just a lousy accident - a girder mistakenly cut, a train that hit a support - then we are left to conclude that it was worse than any of those things, because it was more mundane and more insidious: This death and destruction was the result of incompetence or indifference."

    Full piece here:
  12. madanthonywayne Morning in America Registered Senior Member

    Of course there are. Hell, there are still functioning roman aquaducts! But even in the US there are many, many bridges older than this one. It was not even forty years old! There are bridges over one-hundred years old still doing fine. The Brooklyn Bridge, for instance, is much older. But it did fail its last inspection.
  13. nietzschefan Thread Killer Valued Senior Member

    A tiny bit of earth movement screws up all that. We need to depend less on cars and do less commuting, this is just one of many examples.
  14. madanthonywayne Morning in America Registered Senior Member

    Or maybe switch to hover cars. That way, we wouldn't need bridges or roads.....................

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    As the professor said at the end of Back to the Future,
    "Roads? Where we're going we don't need.....Roads!"​
    And off they went in their flying Delorian/time machine.
  15. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    We can't prevent most murders, but 20,000 Americans are killed by drunk drivers every year, and we can prevent most of those. Drunk drivers don't hide, everybody knows who they are and where they live, they watch them drink, and they even ride with them. We don't even have to get draconian and arrest them. Just a few hundred dollars to factory-equip every car with a breathalyzer interlock. Instead we're spending trillions of dollars, suspending our constitutional rights, turning the entire planet upside down and killing thousands of innocent people in a quixotic attempt to end terrorism, which has killed 3,000 Americans in the past six years, about the same number who were killed by lightning and bee stings combined.
    Thank you. You can blame that on the Crown Prince of the Energy Industry being in the White House. In the 1990s, telecommuting was really catching on--before we even had broadband access, webcams and NetMeeting. Then suddenly all the big corporations canceled it, and I can't get a letter to the editor printed on the subject in any major newpaper.
    So far it appears to be just the Law of Averages catching up with us. It could have happened anywhere. We could spend eleventy bazillion dollars renovating every bridge in America, and save ten lives a year. As a risk management strategy, that would be as foolish as the eleventy bazillion dollars we're spending on terrorism.
    Oh yeah. One fourth of America's petroleum is expended directly on commuting. We wouldn't need to be in Iraq if we didn't all have to "go to work" every day to use a computer and a telephone just like the ones we have at home. We also wouldn't have to cram ourselves into urban areas where condominiums cost a million dollars, eat a steady diet of convenience food, and let our children be raised by nannies and TV.
  16. Orleander OH JOY!!!! Valued Senior Member

    here in MI, they complain about construction all the damn time. They complain every time they want to raise taxes to fix the roads/bridges so it never happens.
    We had a bridge fall apart (not down though) right here in town. A smaller 2 lane concrete bridge, but it went over the interstate. Now we have a new 4 lane bridge, sidewalks, trees. But it never would have happened unless that bridge broke.
  17. madanthonywayne Morning in America Registered Senior Member

    You sound like Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar. She tried to blame the Bush administration for the bridge collapse (and why not, that strategy worked so well in New Orleans.) To quote:
    Sadly, she didn't check the facts before opening her mouth:
    Those evil Republicans are at it again. Only increasing spending by 46%!
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2007
  18. Orleander OH JOY!!!! Valued Senior Member

    thank you.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    She sounds successful. Is she nice?
  19. madanthonywayne Morning in America Registered Senior Member

    I don't know her personally, but she is a politician. So draw your own conclusions.
  20. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    If every 12 years a major bridge in a large US metro area collapses under normal use,

    or every three years a major US building collapses under normal use (same basic problem),

    and that's normal, in the US

    then we shouldn't be surprised to find society in general adjusting to a fairly degraded state of government service. The benefits and privileges of first world status are not based on weaponry alone, after all.
  21. Captain Kremmen All aboard, me Hearties! Valued Senior Member

    I thought your estimate of three weeks road casualties must be way off, so I've checked myself.
    Your figures are correct. I think it's slightly over three weeks, but I won't quibble.
    Current estimates of deaths on 9/11 is 2752.
    That's a lot of people dying in car accidents on US roads every 3 weeks.

    The US figures are not the best, but they are not the worst either.

    Don't drive in South Korea!
  22. te jen Registered Senior Member

    A separate thread on what constitutes acceptable risk and the illogic of human response to it is probably necessary, but what the hell...

    Numbers to consider:

    Deaths from food poisoning per year in U.S.: 5000 (

    Deaths from drowning in U.S. in 2000: 3458

    Deaths on the job on U.S. - all causes - in 2002: 5524

    All of these are of the same magnitude as 9-11 or Katrina, are two orders of magnitude greater than the likely death toll from the Minneapolis bridge collapse, and along with driving fatalities are more or less completely ignored by the public.

    Why? Because the deaths are spread out in space and time, are more or less random, and are usually unspectacular. Plus the media don't cover them for the same reasons. So there's no War on Drowning, even though the body count is a lot higher than that resulting from terrorism.

    My point is (and was) that if people acted rationally (and I count our "leaders" in this), they would treat the threat from terrorism the same as the threat from, say, tornadoes or falling in the bathtub. Something to watch out for, to do what is reasonable to prevent, but not to be overly upset all the time about.

    Which brings me to another point. Terrorism by definition obviously depends on the victims' readiness to be terrified for its effectiveness. Setting aside the reasons for terrorist attacks, if the populace said "Fuck you, assholes, we refuse to be cowed by your attacks! We're going to bury our dead and sweep up the glass and move on!", then there'd probably be a lot less of it, since it would clearly be ineffective. It's our penchant for wailing and gnashing of teeth that keeps us vulnerable. And not just vulnerable to attack from jihadis, but also vulnerable to those who want to subvert the Constitution and create a police state. How do you win a war on terror? Refuse to be terrified. That's the only way. When I think about it in those terms, it strikes me as odd and telling that the U.S. government has never, ever attempted to frame the matter in that way. If anything, they go out of their way to sow fear every chance they get.

    Winston Churchill knew a thing or two about inspiring courage in his people, even if he was a imperialist asshole:

    "We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender."

    "We shall show mercy, but we shall not ask for it."

    "You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life."

    "What General Weygand called the Battle of France is over. I expect that the Battle of Britain is about to begin. Upon this battle depends the survival of Christian civilization. Upon it depends our own British life, and the long continuity of our institutions and our Empire. The whole fury and might of the enemy must very soon be turned on us. Hitler knows that he will have to break us in this Island or lose the war. If we can stand up to him, all Europe may be free and the life of the world may move forward into broad, sunlit uplands. But if we fail, then the whole world, including the United States, including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science. Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that, if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, "This was their finest hour.""

    No one can possibly imagine our current leadership invoking such sentiments with such eloquence.
  23. hypewaders Save Changes Registered Senior Member

    I wonder if this American generation would respond to an American leader who would even surpass Churchill's finest hour.

    Brace ourselves to our duties? Minne Bridge is falling down? Whatever. I've got a yellow ribbon on my Escalade- Whaddaya want from me?

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