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Old 08-01-07, 06:22 PM   #1
rando
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bridge collapse in MN

aw, jeez.

a bridge collapsed in Minneapolis.

I'm watching MSNBC coverage right now. cars, walkers and cyclists on the bridge.
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Old 08-01-07, 06:26 PM   #2
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Devastating. Inexplicable.

Please, God, let the casualties be low. But I fear dozens will be lost.

It's impossible to watch this. It's impossible not to.
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Old 08-01-07, 07:03 PM   #3
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It's a 40 year old bridge.
I'm afraid this is going to happen more frequently as the infrastructure crumbles, and the traffic volume increases.
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Old 08-01-07, 07:15 PM   #4
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The sound from the emergency vehicles has continued steadilly for 2 hours now. The coverage is on CNN and all the local news stations. A co-worker that I contacted (because he had to cross the bridge to go to client meeting this aftenoon) told me that he heard about it on the BBC(!). So far, CNN is confirming 3 known dead, but it was rush hour and the highway was very full, so the news will likely get worse. Very tragic news for the Twin Cities.
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Old 08-01-07, 07:35 PM   #5
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holy crap. i just caught a blurb of this on the news. Unreal a sad day.
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Old 08-01-07, 07:55 PM   #6
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I'm watching MSNBC coverage right now. cars, walkers and cyclists on the bridge.
Walkers and cyclists? Shouldn't be, it's a freeway bridge. I lived about half a mile away from there last year. Several nice options for peds and bikes within a few blocks.

Fortunately, it happened after 6pm, so it was after most of rush hour. Still a very busy road. Just terrible.
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Old 08-01-07, 08:01 PM   #7
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I saw that trains run under the bridge on the shore of the river. Vibrations accelerating failure of the bridge? Part of the repair work was dealing with cracks in the bridge.
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Old 08-01-07, 08:16 PM   #8
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There's a Fooster who will be going to Minneapolis to help. He'll be salvage diving in the Mississippi.
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Old 08-02-07, 04:22 AM   #9
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I saw that trains run under the bridge on the shore of the river. Vibrations accelerating failure of the bridge? Part of the repair work was dealing with cracks in the bridge.
The repair work was confined to resurfacing the deck, a common bridge refurbishment task.
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Old 08-02-07, 08:58 AM   #10
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Walkers and cyclists? Shouldn't be, it's a freeway bridge.
The concern for walkers and cyclists is that they might be under the bridge. I ride under it every day on my commute. If a nasty cold didn't have me riding the bus, I probably would have been underneath it on the north side within minutes of the collapse.

Rode by there this morning; the road is blocked off, but even from 2 blocks north I can see that it collapsed right where I normally ride.
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Old 08-02-07, 10:00 AM   #11
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The concern for walkers and cyclists is that they might be under the bridge. I ride under it every day on my commute.
New Haven to the Twin Cities, that's a heck of a commute.
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Old 08-03-07, 09:22 AM   #12
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New Haven to the Twin Cities, that's a heck of a commute.
It's not bad, except in winter.
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Old 08-03-07, 02:52 PM   #13
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It's a 40 year old bridge.
I'm afraid this is going to happen more frequently as the infrastructure crumbles, and the traffic volume increases.
Sad, but true. Part of a bridge collapsed on the interstate in my city a few months ago. This is just the beginning of a long, tragic, expensive epidemic of failing and repairing auto-centric infrastructure. My heart breaks for all those people involved, even more so that it's going to be happening a lot more in the coming months and years.
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Old 08-08-07, 12:12 PM   #14
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In Europe I have seen bridges built by the ancient Romans which are still standing and still in use after more than two thousand years, yet we have bridges collapsing after 30 or so years. What did the Romans know that we don't?
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Old 08-08-07, 12:51 PM   #15
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In Europe I have seen bridges built by the ancient Romans which are still standing and still in use after more than two thousand years, yet we have bridges collapsing after 30 or so years. What did the Romans know that we don't?
A bridge engineer interviewed on a news program said that bridges had always been designed with redundancy. If one support member failed, adjacent parts of the frame absorbed the load. But, in the 1960s bridges were designed with computer software that did not consider redundancy. The bridge that failed in Minneapolis would not be built today, nor in the decades shortly after this bridge was built.
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Old 08-08-07, 03:24 PM   #16
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And what percentage of ancient Roman bridges do you suppose are actually still standing?

On that note--- being a stone mason was the bleeding edge of technology for centuries.... now working construction is, well, working construction.... and engineering bridges isn't exactly the sexiest thing in today's world.

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In Europe I have seen bridges built by the ancient Romans which are still standing and still in use after more than two thousand years, yet we have bridges collapsing after 30 or so years. What did the Romans know that we don't?
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Old 08-08-07, 04:28 PM   #17
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A bridge engineer interviewed on a news program said that bridges had always been designed with redundancy. If one support member failed, adjacent parts of the frame absorbed the load. But, in the 1960s bridges were designed with computer software that did not consider redundancy. The bridge that failed in Minneapolis would not be built today, nor in the decades shortly after this bridge was built.
That answers that. I've been wondering why so much of the bridge would collapse the way it did given that one component failed.

[*] House of cards.
[*] Domino design.

Hopefully they don't check those options on the bridge design software anymore.
Design software in the 1960s? That's scary in and of itself. Probably some Fortran hack (yes, I know that's redundant).
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Old 08-09-07, 05:48 AM   #18
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We were flying home from vacation on August 1 and landed in Minneapolis just about the exact time the bridge fell. We saw local news coverage on TV monitors in airport shops. At the same time we had loose arrangements to meet a friend who lives very near to the Twin Cities. She was to come to the airport and have supper with us. She did not show. We phoned repeatedly her home, but there was no answer. We imagined the worst as a possibility. Finally, a week later we heard from her. She had been out of town caring for her ill sister. But, she also told us barge traffic upriver to docks in the near downtown Minneapolis area is blocked by the wreckage of the bridge. Quite a few people are now laid off because their companies are tied to shipping and receiving by barge.

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Old 08-09-07, 06:32 AM   #19
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We've had already for the last 3 days two crews working here in Rochester, NY examining the two bridges of the same design. News pics show lots of people on the bridge, hanging off the bridge and scraping stuff from it - have a machine with a long arm that's pointing under the bridge (I'm sure that's vid) and divers examining the base.

They wasted no time!
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Old 08-09-07, 04:27 PM   #20
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In Europe I have seen bridges built by the ancient Romans which are still standing and still in use after more than two thousand years

Roman infrastructure collapsed quite often if my college humanities professor was correct.

Modern bridges are generally very safe and usually significantly overbuilt. A few aging bridges collapse every year, especially those that were designed poorly, but overall they hold up extremely well.
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Old 08-10-07, 02:19 PM   #21
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We were flying home from vacation on August 1 and landed in Minneapolis just about the exact time the bridge fell. We saw local news coverage on TV monitors in airport shops. At the same time we had loose arrangements to meet a friend who lives very near to the Twin Cities. She was to come to the airport and have supper with us. She did not show. We phoned repeatedly her home, but there was no answer. We imagined the worst as a possibility. Finally, a week later we heard from her. She had been out of town caring for her ill sister. But, she also told us barge traffic upriver to docks in the near downtown Minneapolis area is blocked by the wreckage of the bridge. Quite a few people are now laid off because their companies are tied to shipping and receiving by barge.
Yes, barge traffic is important in the local economy. The Mississippi is not navigable above MPLS, so goods on northbound barges' cargo is offloaded to trains or trucks for transport north and west, and goods coming from the north and west are loaded onto barges there. Here in Charleston, we only see barges full of coal, with an occasional chemical or fuel tanker; in MN we saw barges loaded with all sorts of goods. Even cars! (Ford has an assembly plant--soon to close--in St. Paul.)
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