Maintenance material may have caused bridge collapse

NY Times:

Trucks carrying tens of thousands of pounds of crushed stone were parked on the Interstate 35W bridge, and more stone was sitting on the deck when the bridge collapsed, investigators said Sunday, raising suspicions that the added weight of materials intended for repairs may have played a role in the bridge failure.

The chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, Mark V. Rosenker, said investigators had questioned employees of Progressive Contractors Inc., which was doing work on the bridge deck, regarding quantities of various materials, specific equipment they had put on the bridge, and where the materials and equipment were on the bridge. The weight and location will be entered into a computer program, Mr. Rosenker said, to calculate the stresses generated on each girder and other bridge components.

So far, investigators say they have ruled out nothing and will consider everything from the expansion and contraction of the bridge in the extreme weather conditions of Minneapolis to the possible corrosive role of bird droppings.

...


This is not looking good for the Democrats who wanted to blame the failure of the bridge on a lack of maintenance funding. Top that off with corrosion caused by bird droppings and you know the environmentalist will try to hoot that down.

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