Canadian Consulting Engineer

“Just dropping, dropping, dropping” — Minneapolis bridge collapse

The interstate bridge that collapsed in Minneapolis Wednesday evening was built in 1967. Packed with commuting vehi...

August 2, 2007   Canadian Consulting Engineer

The interstate bridge that collapsed in Minneapolis Wednesday evening was built in 1967. Packed with commuting vehicles, a centre section of the eight-lane Interstate 35W bridge dropped 20 metres into the Mississippi River around 6.50 p.m. Cars tumbled into the river and on top of each other, killing at least four people and injuring at least 60.
The next day, divers were still trying to reach submerged vehicles.
The bridge was a 150-metre long steel arch over the river, built that way to avoid piers interfering with vessels navigating the waters. The road surface was being repaired at the time of the accident and only four lanes were open.
Approximately 200,000 cars cross the bridge daily. The National Transportation Safety Board is to investigate the accident. CBC News reports that Gov. Tim Palwenty said the bridge was inspected in 2005 and 2006 and no structural problems were noted, “There were some minor things that needed attention.”
CBC reported the reaction of a motorist who survived the accident. She heard “boom, boom, boom, and we were just dropping, dropping, dropping, dropping.”


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