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Gusset Plate Failure Caused Minneapolis Bridge Collapse, NTSB Says | cialis online

Gusset Plate Failure Caused Minneapolis Bridge Collapse, NTSB Says

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An  National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigation into last year’s deadly Minneapolis Bridge collapse has blamed the disaster on gusset plates that were too thin to carry the loads the structure was subjected to. As a result, the I 35 West bridge to collapse under the weight of construction equipment that had been sitting on the structure at the time of the disaster.

Gusset plates act like braces to hold bridge joints together.  Deck truss bridges, like the I-35 W Bridge that collapsed, are especially vulnerable if gusset plates fail. That type of bridge design has no back up features to prevent a collapse if one component of the structure fails. For that reason, bridges like the 40-year-old Minneapolis Bridge are rarely built today.

The LA Times is reporting that  NTSB investigators told the hearing that  the gusset plates on the Minneapolis Bridge did not meet the original design specifications, and were half the thickness required to carry the loads the bridge was subjected to when it collapsed. The gusset plates were also compromised by the weight of infrastructure improvements – including thickening of the driving deck – that had been made on the I 35 W bridge since it opened.   Finally, the Minneapolis Bridge was unable to withstand the strain of nearly 300 tons of construction equipment and materials that were piled on the bridge when it collapsed.

According to the LA Times, NTSB investigator Carl Schultheisz said that had the gussets been designed properly, the bridge “would have been able to safely sustain these loads, and the accident would not have occurred.”

The Minneapolis Bridge collapsed on August 1, 2007 at 6:05 p.m. It was the height of Minneapolis’ evening rush hour, and cars were lined up bumper-to- bumper across the span. At least 88 vehicles and hundreds of people fell 60 feet into the Mississippi River below. Thirteen people died and at least 100 others were injured.

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