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A Practical Case Study - Highway 35 Bridge Collapse

Page history last edited by Bob-RJ Burkhart 13 years, 5 months ago

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Posted, Jan. 31, 2008

Updated, Jan. 31, 2008

Check Your Bridges

By Al Tompkins (more by author)  

Msnbc.com has completed an investigation of bridge inspections, finding that thousands of bridges across the country haven't been inspected as often as they should be.


It's not just a national story, it's a local one -- and msnbc.com has enabled journalists around the country to look into this issue for their own areas.


Bill Dedman, the investigative reporter who put together the story, has posted summary files of each state's bridge inspections and conditions. They're posted here.


Here's a state-by-state ranking chart so you can see whether your state has a high rate of late inspections.


(Msnbc.com asks that journalists who make use of any of the information in the files credit "msnbc.com analysis of National Bridge Inventory through 2006, as reported by states in April 2007," and that they provide links to msnbc.com's site: bridges.msnbc.com.)


To learn more about the project, see my post yesterday and my interview with Dedman about how he did the story.


Msnbc.com published the second part of the series today. The story says:


  • The Federal Highway Administration has allowed states to take advantage of a loophole in federal regulations, delaying bridge inspections to every four years instead of the two years normally required. While most states don't use this loophole, calling it unsafe, others drive a truck through it: Nationally, 30,000 bridges are listed on the delayed-inspection schedules, including 10,000 in Illinois alone and more than 3,000 on interstate highways.
  • Bridges in poor condition have been allowed on these delayed timetables in violation of federal guidelines. Although federal and state officials are bound by law to closely monitor the schedules, their own records show thousands of bridges on delayed-inspection schedules -- despite being too decayed, too long or too heavily traveled to qualify.
  • "Fracture-critical" bridges like the Minneapolis bridge, which could collapse if one part fails, have remained on delayed-inspection schedules in violation of federal regulations. The records show 622 of these vulnerable bridges on four-year timetables.
  • Even after the deadly collapse in Minneapolis, the haphazard system of inspections continued, with federal authorities choosing not to require re-inspection of more than 18,000 fracture-critical bridges. In a survey of every state by msnbc.com, only five states and the District of Columbia said they began to recheck all their fracture-critical bridges. The rest checked only the few hundred bridges of the particular deck-truss design used in Minneapolis.
  • Federal agencies that own bridges have some of the worst records for on-time inspections. Nearly 3,000 bridges owned by U.S. government agencies went more than two years between checkups.

Msnbc.com also put together an interactive map that enables drivers to plot a route and see the inspection report for every major bridge they cross.


Comments (3)

Bob-RJ Burkhart said

at 7:06 am on Nov 1, 2010

During May-2003 as a Minnesota FBI InfraGard Alliance Chapter liaison with Mn Department of Emergency Management (DEM), I facilitated a CRTK-USEPA Presponse Systems Thinking session that adapted Group Decision Support Systems (GDSS) "Hoshin Planning Hazard Tree" Failure Mode & Effects Analysis. Our group's focus was on possible mass casualty incidents to minimize duration& scope (IMPACT vectors) of secondary & subsequent consequences of an Interstate Highway bridge failure during transport of low-level nuclear waste products.
Where CTRK = Community Right To Know federal regulations on transporting hazardous materials on interstate corridors (crossing inland waterways) ...

Bob-RJ Burkhart said

at 7:22 am on Nov 14, 2010

Also see: MNFUTURISTS Digital Library @ http://www.box.net/shared/s1lv5g04el

Bob-RJ Burkhart said

at 7:44 am on Nov 14, 2010

"People have to die" infrastructure faults "national agenda" History
The Crumbling of America - Saturday, Sep 12, 2009 - mReplay ...
Sep 12, 2009 ... 00:03:18, So a point has come, this is an aging infrastructure ...
00:05:57, So people have to die before this becomes a national agenda. ....
00:12:23, >> The tunnel went through a limestone fault at that ......
01:08:39, The longer that blackout lasts, the farther back in history you're shoved. ...
The Crumbling of America - Friday, Jul 23, 2010 - mReplay Livedash ...
00:19:16, So a point has come, this is an aging infrastructure ...
Star Telegraph: June 2009
Jun 1, 2009 ... This is the description of the History Channel's documentary. ...
people have to die before it becomes national agenda". Bridges: ...
startelegraph.blogspot.com/2009_06_01_archive.html - Cached

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