Thursday, August 02, 2007

Failed Bridge Failed Test in 2005

Bridge inspectors in Minnesota had issued warnings years ago that the I-35 bridge might need to be replaced. But Gov Tim Pawlenty (R-MN) says the bridge passed inspections in 2005 and 2006. State lawmakers reportedly back him up.

But public records show state highway inspectors gave the bridge a 50% grade in 2005. A rating of 50% or below means the bridge may need replacing.

Lawmakers claim they never got the reports nor any requests for money to repair or replace the bridge. (Pioneer Press)

Security-cam video of the collapse from CNN:

Federal Help Coming Fast

President Bush has promised a $5 million grant to help with rerouting traffic around the area.

Not wanting the embarassment of another botched disaster response ala Katrina -- the White House reacted quickly to the bridge collapse -- mobilizing the Coast Guard, Transportation Department, NTSB, FEMA, FBI, EPA, and Army Corps of Engineers and getting representatives from each agency on the ground immediately.

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