Design Errors Blamed in Bridge Collapse
The National Transportation Safety Board has pinpointed U-10 steel gusset plates for the fatal bridge collapse in Minneapolis last year. Federal investigators said the collapse was inevitable once the steep plates failed due to a design flaw.
Corrosion and cracks in the bridge were ruled out on Thursday, part of a two-day hearing about the NTSB findings. The NTSB was focused on the steel plates as far back as January, and had been stating that it was a probable design flaw that caused the bridge collapse.
On August 1, 2007, the I-35W bridge plunged into the Mississippi River during rush hour. The collapse killed 13 and injured 145. While many people both in and out of government have seen this as a potential alarm bell about the nation’s aging infrastructure, it is estimated that nearly 17,000 bridges across the country have gone without an inspection for at least two years due to lax oversight and enforcement.