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Bridge collapse

Discussion in 'The Atrium' started by vikefan, Aug 1, 2007.

  1. vikefan

    vikefan Cheesehead

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    I went over that bridge just a week ago when I was down there for a wedding. I-35W bridge collapsed into the Mississippi.
     
  2. Pack93z

    Pack93z You retired too? .... Not me. I'm in my prime

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    I was on that bridge about a month ago, my prayers are with everyone involved and their families. God help them and all in Minneapolis this evening.
     
  3. yooperfan

    yooperfan Cheesehead

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    I crossed that bridge yesterday morning on my way back to the U.P.
    My brother who lives in Minnie crosses that bridge very often and runs on a running path thet goes beneath it. He called us to let us know he wasn't on it.
     
  4. Heatherthepackgirl

    Heatherthepackgirl Cheesehead

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    Thank goodness your brother wasnt on it and hes okay. My prayers go out to all the families what a tragedy...
     
  5. PackerChick

    PackerChick Cheesehead

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    I tell you if construction was behind this collapse, there will be a multitude of lawsuits. Sure is a horrible mess and tragedy. I believe I have been on that bridge a number of times. Scary world I tell you. My thoughts are prayers are with all who are involved and their families.

    This is also a time to put aside our petty little sports rivalries as well.
     
  6. bozz_2006

    bozz_2006 Cheesehead

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    that bridge is about half a mile from my place. I've been over it countless times. i don't know anyone (yet) who was on it, but it happened about an hour before the Twins game and i'm sure many of those people were on there way to the Metrodome. I'm pretty worried. Until I get everyone i know on the phone telling me they're ok, it will be a pretty nerveracking time.
     
  7. PackerChick

    PackerChick Cheesehead

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    I pray and hope for the best for you.
     
  8. vike4life

    vike4life Cheesehead

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    I have been over that bridge countless times. My sister and sister in-law cross it daily. They passed over it less than an hour before the tragedy stuck. My prayers are out to all the casualties, survivors, and their families.

    We already had the date August 1st implanted into our brains 6 years ago, now tragedy strikes again on the same day of the year.
     
  9. MontanaBob

    MontanaBob Cheesehead

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    I have been on that bridge a few times in our travels. My heart and prayers go out to those families who may have had loved ones on the bridge at that time.

    As far as bridges go, stop and take a look at the under carriage of bridges if you get a chance to. It's a wonder that more don't collapse. Paint can cover up a whole lot of defects and cracks and we, the public are none the wiser. I read a few years ago where some DOT bigwig estimated that 70% of the Interstate bridges in the US need major repair or replacing. Comforting thought, isn't it?
     
  10. bozz_2006

    bozz_2006 Cheesehead

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    Pawlenty said 80,000 bridges like this one are in need of serious repair.
     
  11. Pack93z

    Pack93z You retired too? .... Not me. I'm in my prime

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    Kinda puts a different light on road construction in the summer time... I hope and pray for those still missing and their families.
     
  12. Packerbacker04

    Packerbacker04 Cheesehead

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    My thoughts and prayers are with everyone involved.
     
  13. Pack93z

    Pack93z You retired too? .... Not me. I'm in my prime

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    If my comments are seen as out of line I am sorry, but dang...

    We are a country that will send money, troops and just about anything else that consumes a large chunk of our budget, but yet we are not taking care of the homefront. From infrastructure to basic helping the people less fortunate on our own land. Hopefully someday soon we will turn the attention to things within this country and to to places were they really don't want our help.

    Again sorry if this is seen as political, but maybe it is time to ring the bell to change our priorities. After we have addressed our own house (country) then turn our attention to other ones.

    http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com...AID=/20070803/GPG0101/708030648&located=FLASH

    Minnesota officials warned about bridge problems as early as 1990

    By Sharon Cohen and Brian Bakst
    The Associated Press

    MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota officials were warned as early as 1990 that the bridge that collapsed into the Mississippi River was "structurally deficient," yet they relied on a strategy of patchwork fixes and stepped-up inspections.

    "We thought we had done all we could," state bridge engineer Dan Dorgan told reporters not far from the mangled remains of the span. "Obviously something went terribly wrong."

    Questions about the cause of the collapse and whether it could have been prevented arose Thursday as authorities shifted from rescue efforts to a grim recovery operation, searching for bodies that may be hidden beneath the river's swirling currents.

    The official death count from Wednesday's rush-hour collapse stood at four, with another 79 injuries. But police said the death count would surely grow because bodies had been spotted in the water and as many as 30 people were still reported missing.

    The Army Corps of Engineers lowered the river level a foot to help recovery efforts, said agency spokeswoman Shannon Bauer.

    In 1990, the federal government gave the I-35W bridge a rating of "structurally deficient," citing significant corrosion in its bearings. The bridge is one of about 77,000 bridges in that category nationwide, 1,160 in Minnesota alone.

    The designation means some portions of the bridge needed to be scheduled for repair or replacement, and it was on a schedule for inspection every two years.

    Dorgan said the bearings could not have been repaired without jacking up the entire deck of the bridge. Because the bearings were not sliding, inspectors concluded the corrosion was not a major issue.

    During the 1990s, later inspections found fatigue cracks and corrosion in the steel around the bridge's joints. Those problems were repaired. Starting in 1993, the state said, the bridge was inspected annually instead of every other year.

    A 2005 federal inspection also rated the bridge structurally deficient, giving it a 50 on a scale of 100 for structural stability.

    White House press secretary Tony Snow said while the inspection didn't indicate the bridge was at risk of failing, "if an inspection report identifies deficiencies, the state is responsible for taking corrective actions."

    Gov. Tim Pawlenty responded Thursday by ordering an immediate inspection of all bridges in the state with similar designs, but said the state was never warned that the bridge needed to be closed or immediately repaired.

    "There was a view that the bridge was ultimately and eventually going to need to be replaced," he said. "But it appears from the information that we have available that a timeline for that was not immediate or imminent, but more in the future."

    Federal officials alerted states to immediately inspect all bridges similar to the one that collapsed.

    The eight-lane Interstate 35W bridge was Minnesota's busiest bridge, carrying 141,000 vehicles a day. It was in the midst of mostly repaving repairs when it buckled during the evening rush hour. Dozens of cars plummeted more than 60 feet into the Mississippi River, some falling on top one of another. A school bus sat on the angled concrete.

    Engineers wondered whether heavy traffic might have contributed to the collapse. Studies of the bridge have raised concern about cracks caused by metal fatigue.

    "I think everybody is looking at fatigue right now," said Kent Harries, an assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering in the University of Pittsburgh's School of Engineering. "This is an interstate bridge that sees a lot of truck traffic."

    After a study raised concern about cracks, the state was given two alternatives: Add steel plates to reinforce critical parts or conduct a thorough inspection of certain areas to see if there were additional cracks. They chose the inspection route, beginning that examination in May.

    Dorgan said officials considered the cracks on parts of the bridge to be stable and not expanding.

    When conducting inspections, Dorgan said, inspectors get within an arm's length of various components of a bridge. If they spot cracks, that leads to more hands-on testing to determine the depth and extent of the fissures.

    Although concern was raised about cracks, some experts theorized it's no coincidence the collapse happened when workers and heavy equipment was on the bridge. The construction work involved resurfacing and maintenance on guardrails and lights, among other repairs.

    "I would be stunned if this didn't have something to do with the construction project," said David Schulz, director of the Infrastrucure Tecchnology Institute at Northwestern University. "I think it's a major factor."

    The collapsed bridge's last full inspection was completed June 15, 2006. The report shows previous inspectors' notations of fatigue cracks in the spans approaching the river, including one 4 feet long that was reinforced with bolted plates. A 1993 entry noted 3,000 feet of cracks in the surface of the bridge; they were later sealed.

    That inspection and one a year earlier raised no immediate concerns about the bridge, which wasn't a candidate for replacement until 2020.

    In a 2001 report from the University of Minnesota's Department of Civil Engineering, inspectors found some girders had become distorted. Engineers also saw evidence of fatigue on trusses and said the bridge might collapse if part of the truss gave way under the eight-lane freeway.

    "A bridge of that vintage you always have to be concerned about that," said Richard Sause, director of the Advanced Technology for Large Structural Systems Center at Lehigh University. "In a steel bridge of that age, sure you'd be concerned about those kind of things and be diligent about looking after it. And it seems like they were."

    It takes time for a fatigue crack to develop, but a crack can then expand rapidly to become a fracture, said James Garrett, co-director of the Center for Sensed Critical Infrastructure Research at Carnegie Mellon University. "If you get a crack that goes undetected it would be something that appears to happen more rapidly."

    At the scene, about 15 divers and a dozen boats were in the water, but the search was proceeding slowly because of strong currents and low visibility. By mid-afternoon, they had located four submerged cars besides the dozen or so visible from the surface.

    "We have a number of vehicles that are underneath big pieces of concrete, and we do know we have some people in those vehicles," Police Chief Tim Dolan said. "We know we do have more casualties at the scene."

    Meanwhile, relatives who couldn't find their loved ones at hospitals gathered in a hotel ballroom for any news, hoping for the best.

    Ronald Engebretsen, 57, spent the day searching for his wife, Sherry. His daughter last heard from her when she left work Wednesday in downtown Minneapolis. Afterward, her cell phone picked up only with voice mail.

    By Thursday evening, the Hennepin County Medical Examiner's Office announced that Sherry Engebretsen was confirmed dead. The other three were Julia Blackhawk, 32, of Savage; Patrick Holmes, 36, of Moundsview; and Artemio Trinidad-Mena, 29, of Minneapolis.

    In brief telephone interview, Ronald Engebretsen said he and his family had huddled to try to come to grips with his wife's death.

    "She's a great person. She's a person of great conviction, great integrity, great honesty and great faith in her God," he said. "We're just hoping and praying here."
     
  14. Zero2Cool

    Zero2Cool I own a website

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  15. cheesey

    cheesey Cheesehead

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    Most people take bridges for granted. You figure they are gonna hold up fine. Then something horrible like this happens, and we see that reality is different then we perceive.
    The Hoan bridge almost collapsed in Milwaukee a few years back. Fortunatly it held together and they got everyone off of it.
     
  16. Pack93z

    Pack93z You retired too? .... Not me. I'm in my prime

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    I hope this young man takes advantage of this offer, a good deem repaid with another good deed.

    http://www.startribune.com/10204/story/1346777.html

    If school bus evacuator Jeremy Hernandez wants to resume learning auto mechanics at Dunwoody College of Technology, he can do so without charge.
    The Minneapolis school made that offer to Hernandez’s family Saturday.

    Hernandez drew national attention when he played a lead role in the evacuation of 61 kids and staff from a school bus caught up in last week’s Interstate 35W bridge collapse.

    They were out a field trip from Waite House community agency in the Phillips area of Minneapolis.

    In news coverage afterward, Hernandez said that he was working as a youth worker at Waite House after he’d been forced to drop out of Dunwoody for lack of money. The school’s tuition and fees typically run $15,000 annually.

    That prompted a flurry of calls to the school from alumni and staff, according to Dave Jarzyna, a school spokesman.

    “Universally they said we need to do something for this guy,” Jarzyna said.

    “We’re going to make sure that if he wants to come to Dunwoody, he’ll have the resources to do that,” Jarzyna said. Hernanedez, 20, could not be reached immediately for comment.

    “The ball’s in his court and we’re hoping to hear from him,” Jarzyna said.
     

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