National Transportation Safety Board Finds that Faulty Design Led to Minnesota Bridge Collapse; Dozens of Claims Filed

The National Transportation Safety Board said earlier this month that undersized gusset plates in the Interstate 35-W bridge in Minneapolis were “the critical factor” in the bridge collapse of August 1, 2007, that killed 13 people and injured 100. Chairman Mark Rosenker said the plates, which connected steel beams, were roughly half (1/2 inch rather and 1 inch) the thickness they should have been because of a design error. Investigators found 16 fractured gusset plates from the bridge’s center span, he said.

The NTSB’s final report is expected this fall. This past Sunday marked the 180 day deadline for filing … Read the rest

Damage Found on Throgs Neck Bridge During Inspection Began Before Minneapolis Bridge Collapse

New York State officials announced, on August 9, 2007, that some damage to the Throgs Neck Bridge showing advanced wear and tear was found during a routine biannual inspection that began prior to last week’s Minneapolis bridge collapse. As a result, restrictions to the access to the bridge by over-sized rigs will be increased. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (“MTA”) said the bridge is safe for drivers.

To ease the bridge’s deterioration, the state is rescinding a two-year program that allowed certain trucks weighing 105,000 pounds to travel on the center lanes at 30 mph at any time of day. Those … Read the rest