Bridge Falls Into Mississippi River

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

  1. milkweed Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,654
    First, the flaw in your comparison is the link you posted was from August of 2005. That was then. Klobuchar was sworn into office January 2007. This is now.

    Second, we have had a republican governor whos rally cry has been No New Taxes (unless you smoke).

    A gas tax was proposed and passed by the MN state legislature this session as part of the Transportation bill. It was vetoed by Mr. No New Taxes (unless your a smoker) Govenor Pawlenty. Poll after poll in this state indicated a majority of people would accept this additional tax (which was reduced from the original proposal to .05 a gallon increase).

    Additionally there was a catch to receive this amount of money you post (over 6 years time). States had to raise their gas taxes to receive the max funding the bill provided. There wasnt a 46% increase. It was 46% divided over 6 years and that was only if matching funds were obtained by the state. Translation: of the 46% (max) 23% had to be raised by states by obtaining Increased Tax Revenue, as I understand the distribution of this 'alleged' funding increase.

    http://www.acppubs.com/article/CA6429191.html

    So with strings attached, there was the potential for Minnesota to receive the money posted in your link. But the lapdog Rep. Govenor (who seems to be being groomed by the Rep party for higher office) made sure Minnesota would not receive the potential funds available.

    But as information from this Minneapolis tragedy are coming out, between the finger pointing and the denial of responsibility cascading around local news snippets, quietly yesterday, Mr. No New Taxes (gov. Pawlenty) has announced he is Thinking about calling a special session in sept. and May reconsider his position on the gas tax.
     
  2. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  3. leopold Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    17,455
    bridge designers take elasticity into account when designing bridges.
    if they didn't bridges would be collapsing daily.
    next time you go across a bridge look on the roadway for the "expansion gaps"
    these gaps are about 3 or 4 inches wide and run from one side of the bridge to the other and allow for expansion and compression of the concrete slabs. every bridge over a certain weight limit will have these gaps.
     
  4. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  5. leopold Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    17,455
    i really didn't dig into the background of the bridge in question.
    there are a few factors to consider when passing judgment.
    1. how old was this bridge? as a bridge ages its weight carrying capacity will decrease.
    2. what was this bridges maintainance schedule? was it followed? with proper maintainance a bridge can carry its design load for a very, very, long time.
    3. was the bridges superstructure damaged? if so was the weight limit reduced and was the new limit enforced? if the superstructure is damaged the load capacity will, depending on the damage, be reduced, or remove the bridge from service. if this limit is not enforced then the bridge will collapse, possibly just like it did under a load of stalled traffic.

    i can say the following with certainty:
    the weight limit of the bridge was exceeded by a wide margin or the bridge was sabotaged.
     
  6. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  7. milkweed Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,654
    There was discussion to shore up this bridge in Jan 2007. The cost was under 2 million dollars. There are 4 million people in the state of MN. For between .25 and .50 a citizen, this bridge could have been made safer or possibly repaired.

    There are at least 5 people dead so far and no one knows how many missing. There are estimates of 8 missing by some accounts. With the 5 dead we are sure about, if you place the dollar value of one human life at $500,000, this bridge could have been shored up or possibly repaired at a cost savings. As more dead are fished out of the river, this value per person gets even greater in 'risk management'. I wonder how much the lawsuit against the DOT is gonna settle out of court for?

    Minnesota was extremely lucky. The bridge design meant no additional tons of steel fell on top of these cars. The work being done on the surface reduced the number of cars on that bridge at the time of the collapse and the speed they were traveling at during the fall, and the drought reduced the water flow, normally those portions of bridge you see above the water would have been below the surface and it was in the middle of summer without the icepack that forms later this year.

    And dont forget this fact. Year after year news covers the issue of how to escape from a sunken car, being as this is the land of 10,000 lakes and streams (which turn into additional miles of road as people drive out onto the ice). Most Minnesotans know what to do in a sinking car. A significant number of them carry hammers (or other objects) along side them to punch out their windows should they find themselves floating along without a boat. Do you? Or are you one of the lucky ones who never drives over a bridge (whos true condition you have no idea about) with a rapid flowing river, stream, lake flowing under?

    Oh, and as a sidebar to this: If this collapse had happened 30-60 minutes earlier, the chance of a metro transit bus falling into the water along with the other commuters would have been much greater. This bridge was used by Public transportation along with regular commuters. I would have hated to be in the fight for my life with all those people on the bus with me, pushing, shoving, gasping, dying...
     
  8. madanthonywayne Morning in America Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    12,461
    If a family member drowns or is killed in a traffic accident, you mourne the death and bemoan cruel fate. But if a neighbor kills the family member, you seek vengence.

    Murder and acts of war are not the same thing as random accidents. You should try to avoid accidents. But those who commit atrocities must be hunted down and killed.
     
  9. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    29,747
    Apparently there was a large pile of dirt or sand on the bridge in the week leading up to the collapse, for the needs of the decking repair being done.

    Just another factor in the mix.
     
  10. te jen Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    532
    Those who commit atrocities should be hunted down, captured and brought to justice. Probably killed since the perpetrators would not likely wish to be captured. But vengeance only breeds more vengeance - that is why we aspire to a unemotional system of justice that takes the energy out of feuds, allowing the state to act on our behalf to punish the guilty.

    But the point of the emotional response is a separate one - I can mourn those who were lost, but I refuse to spend my life quaking in fear from imagined threats. If I treat the attack from an emotional point of view as though it were an accident, taking action to prevent its recurrence but otherwise declining to put my personal grief and terror on display for the world, then I pull the rug out from under the prime motivation for the attack in the first place. If I can use a terror attack as an opportunity to harden resolve and strengthen the bonds of community, then the attackers have failed. In quoting Churchill I was of course thinking of the people of London and other British cities during the Blitz - their pain and fear were no doubt excruciating, but they turned a brave face to the world and refused to be cowed.
     
  11. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    29,747
    Little map and article from 1994.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/199403/decrepit-bridges

    The blue areas on that map would all now be red, and a good share of the green blue.

    It's interesting to speculate on what it would cost to replace, over the next ten years, the interstate bridges that were built in the ten years after the Korean War. Obviously the deferred maintenance on US bridges will never be caught up - we are no longer the prosperous country we were.
     
  12. countezero Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    5,590
    Mark my words, they will use this as an excuse to seek more federal highway dollars, etc. The DOT in the state where I live is already in the hole, now they have all the reason they need for a "Road Tax."

    The thing everyone needs to keep in mind is that the state and the feds should already be examining and maintaining the nation's bridges with the money they already have. But they aren't. They've spent it on other things: New bridges, new roads, wider roads, somebody's pet project, etc...

    I agree, but that will never happen. Cover of Sunday Times has a great story about earmarks...
     
  13. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    29,747
    That wouldn't do it.

    Cutting the earmarks wouldn't even balance the budget. Just to pay off Iraq is going to require a 15 - 20% tax boost. Then there's the debt to the SS fund, the Medicare boondoggle, the interest payments, the weakening dollar -

    and the rest of the infrastructure. The sewer and water systems of the major US cities alone - - -

    Conservatives have been running this show for twenty or thirty years now, and oddly enough (considering their self-styled moniker) they don't do maintenance. They cut taxes, instead.
     
  14. countezero Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    5,590
    Running what show? Conservatives, or so-called conservatives, ran Congress from 1995 to 2006 by my reckoning...
     
  15. madanthonywayne Morning in America Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    12,461
    Medicare and SS will be resolved by cutting benefits and raising the age or retirement until most of us die before collecting as was originally intended. That one's easy.

    Bush did try to fix SS by creating individual accounts, but the democrats prevented that from happening with their scare mongering.

    And the Iraq war is costing just 1% of GDP, compared to Vietnam which cost us about 9% of GDP. Not to mention WW2 in which, by 1945, war spending was 41% of GDP and 89% of total federal expenditures!

    So if we could afford 9% of GDP on Vietnam, and 41% in WW2; why the hell is 1% going to break us?
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2007
  16. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    29,747
    Because that alleged 1% is unavailable unless we raise taxes on the upper 20%.

    And health care was quarter price during Vietnam,even less in WWII.

    And we didn't have near the debt going in.

    And the GDP is phonier now - less manufacturing and production, more service.
     
  17. madanthonywayne Morning in America Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    12,461
    Design flaw in Bridge?

    Some breaking news, it appears that the Mississippi Bridge may have been defective from the start! Federal officials reviewing the original design plans have determined that the metal plates used to attach girders may not be up to the job. Furthermore, the 100 tons of construction equipment combined with the removal of a significant portion of the top layers of the bridge may have been the straw that broke the camel's back.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/08/u...&ex=1187236800&partner=MYWAY&pagewanted=print
     
  18. hypewaders Save Changes Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    12,061
  19. madanthonywayne Morning in America Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    12,461
    No comment on the fact that the bridge may have been defective from the start? Just straight to the Bush bashing.
     
  20. hypewaders Save Changes Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    12,061
    No comprehension, just straight to shallow accusations of Bush bashing? Dubya had no way of knowing that bridge would fail. I'm only commenting on the attempted political exploitation of the disaster on the part of Dubya's handlers. Don't be so touchy.

    But here, not to disappoint you for lack of Bush-whacking: Here's a potential disaster we can all blame on Bush if it occurs, because we have been duly warned: There's another Sad-dam poised to Mosul its way into the headlines at any time, and if it does it could cost many more lives. Mostly just Iraqi ones, though. Bush can't be held responsible for Iraqi deaths, though... right? Right.
     
  21. madanthonywayne Morning in America Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    12,461
    It's pretty standard to recognize a hero for his actions. Most people would be honored to recieve recognition from the president, even a president they don't like. I'll admit it is newsworthy that some guy would tell the president to take a hike.

    But the fact that the bridge, and others like it, may have been defective from the day they were built has more bearing on the thread topic.
     
  22. hypewaders Save Changes Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    12,061
    That Dubya's pimps want to make points from this misfortune also bears upon their subjects.
     
  23. madanthonywayne Morning in America Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    12,461
    I say you're reaching. It is surprising that a hero would refuse a presidental honor, but it's not surprising or unusual for the president to want to honor the man.

    Any comment on the flawed bridge design?
     

Share This Page