The collapse of the Minneapolis bridge on I 35 is already being politicized, but a better way to look at it is that it is an ongoing problem.

So the “good news” is that this will take the news network attention off of Brittney Spears and back to unglamourous things like salt corrosion (which  is thought to be one of the reasons behind the collapse).Usually I rely on Popular Mechanics to give me the technical details, but their editorial is of the “Ain’t it awful” type stuff one can read anywhere. Come on, guys, stop the bitching and tell us how to fix it.

Actually, the best engineering analysis on the collapse is on the Christian Science Monitor’s report LINK

Several points are brought out in the article, including placing aging bridges into the context of other aging infrastructure that needs to be fixed, the possibility that salt used for safety had prematurely corroded the rivets on a bridge that was expected to last over 60 years, and that the percentage of inspected bridges that showed deficiencies has been stable at about 25 percent over the last six years (indeed, going down from 27% to 26% between 2002 and 2004).

But the problem of engineering fatalities in well built roads, bridges, levees and pipes from aging is something that needs to be addressed, an not just by the Federal Government, since many of these structures are  under the responsibility of the local and state agencies.


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