Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Calculation of Failure:

Under the arch there ... that's the remains of a 4-lane interstate sitting in the Mississippi River. NTSB finally decided what actually happened on that fateful morning we were watching this on CNN-Germany in the Munich International Airport.

Some of the 35W bridge's gusset plates were too small for the weight of the bridge. Where they should have been an inch thick, they were half an inch.
In 1962, when the bridge was designed, the size of the gusset plates likely weren't calculated.
1977: MnDOT added two inches of pavement to the bridge deck.
1998: added a de-icing system and barriers.
Summer 2007: re-decking the bridge began
August 1, 2007, 3:30 p.m.: Nearly 300 tons of equipment and rock and concrete were placed on the bridge deck, weighing as much as a 747 aircraft.
August 1, 2007, 6:00 p.m.: whole damn thing falls into the Mississippi River during evening rush hour.

"Somebody missed the whole idea that we're going to put 287 tons of weight on the bridge and maybe somebody should look at that,"
Chealander said.

Every year the American Society of Civil Engineers create a report card for and a cost estimate of fixing the country's infrastructure.

In 2008? $1.6 trillion strike you?

Put it in perspective, Ballarini says. "We have a $700 billion (financial) bailout and we have a $700, $800 billion war, so it's not that we can't generate that money," he says.
A growing number of federal and state lawmakers appear to favor spending more in infrastructure both to address years of deferred maintenance and putting people back to work.

Ballarini's advice?

Don't bank on the leaders following through.

"I'm convinced through education and grass roots movements that we could get these things done. One of the things I'll talk about is that we can't rely on people at the very top to lead us.

click on little picture at top of story for bigger version of photo @ top

1 comment:

ccyager said...

Money, money, money. Accountability. And more money. I'm thinking it'd be a far different world without money. Would people think more carefully about safety issues, about double-checking design and working for the best outcome for people?

I've heard today from my insurance company -- they're going to pursue my complaint regarding the double bills for my injections. I'm happy. Someone listened.