AP Report: Thousands Of Bridges At Risk Of Freak Collapse


 bridgeThousands of bridges around the U.S. may be one freak accident or mistake away from collapse, even if the spans are deemed structurally sound.
The crossings are kept standing by engineering design, not supported with brute strength or redundant protections like their more modern counterparts. Bridge regulators call the more risky spans “fracture critical,” meaning that if a single, vital component of the bridge is compromised, it can crumple.

Those vulnerable crossing carry millions of drivers every day. In Boston, a six-lane highway 1A near Logan airport includes a “fracture critical” bridge over Bennington Street. In northern Chicago, an I-90 pass that goes over Ashland Avenue is in the same category. An I-880 bridge over 5th Avenue in Oakland, Calif., is also on the list.
Also in that category is the Interstate 5 bridge over the Skagit River north of Seattle, which collapsed into the water days ago after officials say an oversized truck load clipped the steel truss.

Public officials have focused in recent years on the desperate need for money to repair thousands of bridges deemed structurally deficient, which typically means a major portion of the bridge is in poor condition or worse. But the bridge that collapsed Thursday is not in that deficient category, highlighting another major problem with the nation’s infrastructure: Although it’s rare, some bridges deemed to be fine structurally can still be crippled if they are struck hard enough in the wrong spot.

Read more here.

{Matzav.com Newscenter}


  1. I just posted this at http://matzav.com/collapsed-bridge-was-damaged, but I will also post it right here!

    The History Channel has an excellent documentory program titled: “The Crumbling of America” (see http://shop.history.com/the-crumbling-of-america-dvd/detail.php?p=104694#tabs). The program superbly relates that, yes, in the middle of the twentieth century, the United States certainly DID build up an extensive fantastic infrastructure, of: transportation systems, waterways and irrigation systems, water delivery & sewage systems, and electric power systems. However, this was all done 50 or 60 or 70 or even more years ago. Understandably, the vast majority of the structures and equipment and materials of the U.S.’s infrastructure systems is now greatly aging, worn out, damaged, and in desperate need of either proper repair or total replacement. Specifically regarding bridges, over 70,000 of the bridges here have serious problems from wear and decay.

    The problem though is that to properly repare and replace all of the countless worn out and damaged parts of the countless thousands of thousands of miles of the country’s infrastructure systems is, understandably, going to cost countless millions and billions of dollars. And obviously, such horrendous amounts of money are far beyond the financial means of our country’s governments.

  2. All the money these days go for environmental and other nareshkeit causes and lobbyists and pensions the arts and paperwork and studies etc etc nothing was built in america in the past 30 years

  3. #3 – The people who would ch”v die aren’t the people who determine the policy. The guys in Congress don’t drive to work across these bridges. The CEO’s pulling down an average of $9,000,000.00 a year don’t. You want the bridges fixed, put people in Congress who care about YOU and not the latest lobbyist to give them a check. The oil industry doesn’t need government subsidies (left over from the Cold War) but the people who use their gasoline to drive (us) are at risk for their lives because the money isn’t there for things like bridges.

  4. Oldtimer has managed to sneak in his socialist slogans: What do the greedy CEO’s (most of them are democrat donors anyway) and not-taking-away-as-much-taxes from some industries have to do with our government short-term management style? The blame lies with the promotion of the stone age by the so-called environmentalists, the over-priced bloated unions, and the Machiavellians in Congress.