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10 Years After Bridge Collapse, America Is Still Crumbling

10 Years After Bridge Collapse, America Is Still Crumbling

NPR.org

David Schaper      

Ten years ago, the Interstate 35W bridge over the Mississippi River in downtown Minneapolis collapsed, sending cars, trucks and even a school bus that were crawling over it in bumper-to-bumper rush hour traffic plummeting into the river below and onto the rocky shore.

Thirteen people were killed, 145 more were injured, many of them seriously.

The bridge collapse sparked immediate calls in Minnesota and across the country invest big in repairing and replacing the nation's aging and crumbling infrastructure.

A decade later, experts say there have been some improvements, but there are still tens of thousands of bridges nationwide that need to be fixed or replaced.

In the immediate aftermath of the 35W bridge collapse, the Minnesota Department of Transportation came under intense scrutiny. The interstate highway bridge had been classified as structurally deficient, meaning that it was aging and in need of repair. In fact, some repair work was going on when it fell. And the bridge was also rated as fracture critical, meaning the failure of just one vital component could cause the whole bridge to collapse... FULL ARTICLE

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