Essay:Bridge Collapse over the Mississippi
Today, bridge 9340 over the Mississippi carrying between 15,000 and 200,000 automobiles per day collapsed. The bridge crosses the Mississippi, near the University of Minnesota, and near a lock and dam that services tug boats and barges, and also goes over train tracks. Images of the horrific scence indicate that a cargo train was travelling underneath and perpendicular to the bridge. The FBI has been called in to investigate. The bridge was known to have stress cracks in the superstructure. Traffic on the bridge was bumper to bumper due to the end of rush hour traffic, and also additional traffic entering Minneapolis for a Twins game.
It is conceivable that this is a terrorist attack. Specifically, a terrorist dressed as a construction worker might have rigged a cable with a grappling hook around part of the super structure, and dropped the grappling hook onto either the cargo train or a passing tugboat/barge, which is far more efficient than a bomb, as it uses readily available potential energy, does not require the highjacking of an airplane or a rental of a moving truck. Even so, the Department of Homeland security has reported that terrorism is not suspected at this time, although other news stories this summer have reported that "Al Qaeda planning terror spectacular this summer"
One eyewitiness who drove over the bridge about 20 minutes before the collapse reported gravel piles and heavy trucks on the bridge. Though the bridge was open, lanes of the bridge were closed for a surface refinishing construction project.
Snarks mixed with real information
Liberalism run amuck
Minneapolis has spent $750,000,000 on a light rail project. Meanwhile, stress fractures were observed on this bridge's superstructure as early as 2001,
The liberals in control of the department of Transportation had liberals at the University of Minnesota assess fatigue cracks in the superstructure, and determined:
“”As a result, Mn/DOT does not need to prematurely replace this bridge because of fatigue cracking, avoiding the high costs of associated with such a large project.
Even so, the report did note:
“”The approach spans have exhibited several fatigue problems; primary due to unanticipated out-of-plan-distortion of the girders. Although fatigue cracking has not occured in the deck truss, it has many poor fatigue details on the main truss and floor truss systems.
Liberal solution: bicycles instead
Meanwhile, liberals at Starbucks with their IPODs, MacBooks, and fixed gear bicycles are rejoicing to learn that 35W will be closed to automobile traffic, and long for mandatory bicycle ridership.
Moreover, we know that Minneapolis contains many high value targets, so it's unknown why a terrorist strike against this bridge hasn't been attempted before now.
Or maybe the structure just failed.
One year later
The bridge reopens, exciting one blogger into believing it was all God's work.
- kstp--200,000, though other sources claim as little as 15,000/day in 2001
- Minneapolis bridge collapses, three dead
- Al Qaeda planning terror spectacular this summer
- Freep.com, powered by Detroit Free Press
- kstp,Fatigue Assessment of Deck Truss of Bridge 9340 TH I35W over the Mississippi River, Fatigue Evaluation of the Deck Truss of Bridge 9340
- The opening of the I35W Bridge