Why Did the Minnesota Bridge Collapse?
It turns out that the Minnesota Bridge didn't collapse because stingy Republican legislatures refused to pay for maintenance. It collapsed because someone flubbed the design.
Sixteen fractured gusset plates in the center span on Interstate 35W were a main cause of the deadly bridge collapse in Minneapolis last August, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said on Tuesday. The plates, which connected steel beams in the truss bridge, were roughly half the thickness they should have been because of a design error. How that flaw made it into the bridge is unclear; according to NTSB chairman Mark Rosenker, investigators couldn't find the original design calculations. Extra weight from construction was also a factor in the tragedy, which killed 13 people and injured 100. The findings confirmed forecasts by investigators from three months after the collapse--plus engineering experts in the immediate aftermath--and underscored the dire state of America's crumbling infrastructure.