Video: Caught on tape — the 35W bridge collapse; Update: Systemic? Update: E-mail from a bridge engineer; Update: Inevitably, the left starts to blame Bush

posted at 8:47 am on August 2, 2007 by Allahpundit

I figured this footage would turn up. We only get a glimpse but traffic doesn’t appear to be bumper to bumper, contrary to the reports yesterday. That may help explain why the cops have now revised the death toll down from nine to four, with the earlier number having been based on best estimates. They expect it to change throughout the day, though; the Strib, ominously, reports 20 people are missing. According to WCCO,

Firefighters swam car to car to look for survivors in the Mississippi River Wednesday evening. Clack said a lot of spaces around the collapsed bridge are hard to get into. Structural engineers will tell rescuers when it is safe to go into those area.

Still no word on a cause but the bridge was scheduled to be inspected … this fall. Standby for update as warranted.

Update: I mentioned the 2001 report in last night’s post but this is the first I’ve heard of earlier problems:

Reports issued by the Minnesota Department of Transportation over the past decade have detailed problems with the bridge. In 1997, the department noted problems with the approach spans on both ends, including “cracks . . . in the cross girder at the end of the approach spans.” In a 2001 report, department engineers said that the bridge’s deck truss “has not experienced fatigue cracking, but it has many poor fatigue details on the main truss and floor truss system.”

But that report concluded that the bridge “should not have any problems with fatigue cracking in the foreseeable future.” As a result, they wrote, the department “does not need to prematurely replace this bridge because of fatigue cracking, avoiding the high costs associated with such a large project.”

Update: More warnings.

Two years ago, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Bridge Inventory database said the bridge was “structurally deficient.”

The Minneapolis Star Tribune quoted Jeanne Aamodt, a spokeswoman for the Minnesota Department of Transportation, as saying the department was aware of the 2005 assessment of the bridge.

The bridge received a rating of 4 on a scale of 1 to 10. A bridge receives a rating of 4 when there is “advanced section loss, deterioration, spalling, or scour.”

Update: Read this short but pointed assessment in Popular Mechanics about the scope of the problem. I wrote a few weeks ago about NYC’s antiquated power system. It’s all part of a theme:

Age and heavy use are by no means isolated conditions. According to a report card released in 2005 by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), 160,570 bridges, or just over one quarter of the nation’s 590,750 bridge inventory, were rated structurally deficient or functionally obsolete. The nation’s bridges are being called upon to serve a population that has grown from 200 million to over 300 million since the time the first vehicles rolled across the I-35W bridge. Predictably that has translated into lots more cars. American commuters now spend 3.5 billion hours a year stuck in traffic, at a cost to the economy of $63.2 billion a year…

The fact is that Americans have been squandering the infrastructure legacy bequeath to us by earlier generations. Like the spoiled offspring of well-off parents, we behave as though we have no idea what is required to sustain the quality of our daily lives. Our electricity comes to us via a decades-old system of power generators, transformers and transmission lines that has utility executives holding their breath on every hot day in July and August. Once we had a transportation system that was the envy of the world. Now we are better known for our congested highways, second-rate ports, third-rate passenger trains and a primitive air traffic control system. Many of the great public works project of the 20th century—dams and canal locks, bridges and tunnels, aquifers and aqueducts, and even the Eisenhower interstate highway system—are at or beyond their designed lifespan.

Update: Here’s an e-mail we just received from a bridge engineer in another state. All emphases mine:

I deal a lot with bridges in my job … and was out in the field inspecting bridges like this for 6 years before I moved into a more design oriented position.

The deck truss bridge is a fairly common design, especially in that era, before computer design. Trusses were the easiest way to span a large area, like the Mississippi River. The problem with all trusses is that they are fracture critical. The bottom chord (the bottom row of steel on the truss) is the main load bearing member, and there is only 1 on each side of the bridge. If anything happens to either one, there isn’t any redunadncy in the design, so everything goes down. The multiple girder row bridges you see in most shorter applications have some redundancy built in, so a failure usually isn’t catastrophic.

The inspection notes they have released sound pretty typical of a truss. All of them have details that are prone to fatigue cracking. Some of those panel points, where the different members are connected together, can have steel coming in from 6 or more different directions, and then you rivet, bolt or weld them together with plates. That means forces acting in all those directions, as well as rotation induced by movement in the bridge, all coming into a pretty stiff chunk of steel when they are all connected. All those forces on a stiff connection will find a weak point eventually. Usually, the cracks don’t occur in the main load bearing members, but in the beams going between the 2 trusses. However, with time and corrosion, the chance of failure keeps going up.

The thing that jumps out from the 2001 report that is online is that there were many Category E (the worst kind) details on the truss. Most of these are welded connections of members on the truss. The problem with welds is that they are hard to inspect, and a crack in a weld will not stop – if one steel member cracks at a weld, it can travel through the weld and propagate into the next steel member. I’m guessing they will find a certain connection detail that they blame, which will send everyone scrambilng to see what other bridges have them, so they can be repaired. The 2001 report also suggested that some of the easier to inspect welded details should be inspected every 6 months, since thay could be seen easily from the inspection catwalk on the bridge. We will see if this was being done or not.

I’m surprised they had certain members rated a “4″ on a 0-9 scale, but they were seemingly only inspecting it every other year. The National Bridge Inspection Standards say they should do it yearly at a 4 or less. [Gov. Tim Pawlenty claims Minnesota’s DOT inspected the bridge in 2005 and 2006. — ed.] However, if it is under repair, inspections can be delayed until the work is done. I have a feeling this will come in to play as well. Most agencies don’t want to go out to inspect bridges when a contractor is working on a bridge, because it doesn’t want to impede their work, as well as not wanting to add to the traffic disruption.

Update: More from the Blotter on America’s systemic infrastructure problems. More than one in four bridges are structurally deficient (albeit not necessarily unsafe … yet).

Update: Left-wing talk show host Ed Schultz, who shared a magic conspiratorial moment with Silky just the other day, finally articulates voices the left’s theory of causation.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Gives me the creeps.

Vaporman87 on August 2, 2007 at 8:53 AM

Great news on the revised casulaties. But there are reportedly a number of cars underneath the wreckage.

Jaibones on August 2, 2007 at 8:55 AM

no words

nailinmyeye on August 2, 2007 at 9:09 AM

Amazing how it went almost straight down, both ends letting go at the same time. I’m not implying anything, just that I thought it would have fallen from one end first and gone down at an angle.

Thank God for the relatively few injuries and casualties.

rockbend on August 2, 2007 at 9:13 AM

Odd how the whole thing dropped at once like Rockbend mentioned above. You’ll also notice that the ramp at far end partially collapses a few seconds after the rest. Very disturbing. Makes me not want to cross bridges any more.

High Desert Wanderer on August 2, 2007 at 9:21 AM

very scary thing. It probably has something to do with the extreme weather there. They have really cold winters (so much so their entire downtown is linked together with passageways so you don’t have to go outside). But they also are in the middle of a major heat wave. That had to weaken the structure. Add to that the construction and it is just scary.

ThackerAgency on August 2, 2007 at 9:29 AM

But they also are in the middle of a major heat wave. That had to weaken the structure. Add to that the construction and it is just scary.

ThackerAgency on August 2, 2007 at 9:29 AM

We all know heat has nothing to do with steel, just ask Rosie and the truthers.

Wade on August 2, 2007 at 9:38 AM

But they also are in the middle of a major heat wave. That had to weaken the structure.

This is nonsense on stilts. There is no measurable difference in the mechanical properties of steel over the range of 10-15 degrees Fahrenheit or so that creates a “heat wave.”

LagunaDave on August 2, 2007 at 9:39 AM

As a result, they wrote, the department “does not need to prematurely replace this bridge because of fatigue cracking, avoiding the high costs associated with such a large project.”

Smoking gun?

Helloyawl on August 2, 2007 at 9:41 AM

There is no measurable difference in the mechanical properties of steel over the range of 10-15 degrees Fahrenheit or so that creates a “heat wave.”

No, but there can be a measurable difference in the expansion that takes place, which, depending on the structure, can add a huge load.

Of course we can probably go on for days speculating on what did/didn’t cause the collapse. I’m sure I know just enough to come up with all kinds of ideas based on a complete lack of knowledge on how the bridge was designed and constructed. Or we could wait a couple days for real experts on the scene to figure it out. But where’s the fun in that?

taznar on August 2, 2007 at 9:49 AM

So Senator Ted Stevens gets hundreds of millions in pork for building a bridge to nowhere – and then you have this.

Niko on August 2, 2007 at 9:49 AM

Two years ago, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Bridge Inventory database said the bridge was “structurally deficient.”

And, going by my memory of a CNN interview just a while ago, there are several hundred (800?) other bridges in the country with the same designation and another several hundred with a worse designation. He also mentioned the bridge was to be replaced ~2020.

The “structurally deficient” designation doesn’t mean “replace now”, it means start making plans to replace it, which sounds like what was being done. Actual details on what was/wasn’t done and how accurate the iinspections were (or how accurate they can be) is yet to be determined.

taznar on August 2, 2007 at 9:54 AM

taznar on August 2, 2007 at 9:54 AM

I guess they will be fast tracking that replacement now though.

JayHaw Phrenzie on August 2, 2007 at 9:58 AM

Bridge inspections have a habit of being put off due to budgetary constraints or sheer laziness. A nearby bridge was long past its inspection date, and when somebody finally did wander over to look they were shocked it hadn’t fallen.

This is the kind of stuff we hire bureaucrats to do. I mean, come on guys, cut out the “diversity training” shit and send somebody to take a gander at the bridges, huh?

rho on August 2, 2007 at 10:00 AM

Heres some more good news, while I was channel surfing this morning, MSNNBC reported that there was a school bus that was on that bridge and that a group of good samiritans saved all 60 students (and the driver I presume) on that bus

Razgriez on August 2, 2007 at 10:08 AM

Has there been any “Bush knew” posts at dK about this incident yet?

Enrique on August 2, 2007 at 10:09 AM

That’s great. So, the one bit of spending the local government decides to control is related to a weight bearing structure that could kill people if it failed. I mean, here in the people’s republic of Austin, money flows like water. Our valiant police department just upgraded their motorcycles again; apparently the Harley’s were prone to failure so now they have BMW’s. Nice to know a traffic cop has something fun to play with while people could be falling to their death from a collapsed bridge. Tax dollars at work. Well, perhaps Keith Ellison can get his mob over to city hall and shout ‘Alluh akbar’ until the city starts paying out on well deserved lawsuits.

austinnelly on August 2, 2007 at 10:11 AM

Can’t tell much from that. Looks like the failure was to the right, off screen. The rotation as the right end goes down looks to create an initial failure at the support we can see–in the first frame, there is a “kink” evident in the line of the roadway that appears to happen at or near the face of the bridge abutment.

And yeah, the language of the structural evaluation is more engineer-speak than material intended for press release. We’d have to have MnDOT’s answer key to know what they really mean by “structurally deficient”. It sounds bad, and was obviously worse than they thought, but it doesn’t actually translate to lack of care on their part.

TexasDan on August 2, 2007 at 10:15 AM

What a horrible tragedy. If this was negligent regulation, I want to know who is to blame.

congsan on August 2, 2007 at 10:16 AM

Ever see this?

Color Footage of Tacoma Narrows Bridge

If I recall correctly, every member of the ASCE (American Society of Civil Engineers) wears a stainless steel ring on their working hand to remind them of their obligations as Professional Engineers to avoid these sorts of things from happening.

TheBigOldDog on August 2, 2007 at 10:16 AM

austinnelly on August 2, 2007 at 10:11 AM

OT–I’m in Austin, too, and i have talked to some motorcycle cops here. There were issues with the brakes on the Harleys that led to serious accidents–amputations and such.

Plus which, you don’t really want our money to build bridges in MPLS, do you?

TexasDan on August 2, 2007 at 10:17 AM

[austinnelly on August 2, 2007 at 10:11 AM]

Bigger pockets, Austinnelly. It’s a state highway and state bridge. The city has no responsibility for it.

Dusty on August 2, 2007 at 10:17 AM

If I recall correctly, every member of the ASCE (American Society of Civil Engineers) wears a stainless steel ring on their working hand to remind them of their obligations as Professional Engineers to avoid these sorts of things from happening.

TheBigOldDog on August 2, 2007 at 10:16 AM

None of the ASCE members in my office have such a ring, but we take the role of PE mighty seriously. There are few professions that can cause as many casualties as structural engineering. I am one, and I think about it.

TexasDan on August 2, 2007 at 10:20 AM

God, I hope the death toll stays at 4. It’s tragic for the 4 who lost their lives but it’s just that looking at the destruction I was expecting dozens of dead.

Yakko77 on August 2, 2007 at 10:21 AM

It doesn’t look like terrorism, but Homeland Security seems to be able to rule out terrorism within an hour of any incident.

I doubt they are that competent.

Valiant on August 2, 2007 at 10:26 AM

No, I didn’t think we should be spending money on a bridge in MPLS. My point is, I despise waste in government. As soon as I saw the APD using Harleys, I knew it was a stupid purchase. I have too many friends who own them. They used Kawasaki’s for years with no problems I ever heard of; then, for some reason, they go to a boutique bike. Why? Because they could. It grates on my nerves. As far as whether it’s state or local, fine. I stand corrected. My point remains the same. Rather than looking for bs to blow money on, basic maintenance on load bearing structures should be higher priority.

austinnelly on August 2, 2007 at 10:28 AM

rockbend on August 2, 2007 at 9:13 AM

Actually, if you stop the video as the motion starts, it appears that the near end has a bout a 2 maybe 3 degree lead. If it’s already unsound, underload I’m sure that would be enough to cause the opposite end to collapse.

Twoother outrage in 3…2…1…

Catseye on August 2, 2007 at 10:29 AM

[TheBigOldDog on August 2, 2007 at 10:16 AM]

Engineers are genetically predispositioned to be allergic to stainless steel, which was discovered after we started wearing them. [One cynic has interpreted this true fact as “engineers like things that rust because rusty things need an engineer to design a replacement for it’, but that’s rubbish.)

So, we gave up the rings for a process of passing work through a enough design engineers that the factor of safety eliminates failure for all causes except nature. See ASCE CYA Code, Paragraph 3.1.2.8.4.2, the part in small print.

Dusty on August 2, 2007 at 10:36 AM

We were waiting for dinner at the table when every TV in the restaurant changed with volume pumped up to channel 9 just minutes after the bridge went. Shock shut down the table conversations as a great number of us were waiting on friends who normally take that bridge.

For 15-20 minutes we waited to see emergency services move in. It took time and even longer for the water rescue to get on station. Watching them negotiate the wreckage was painful to watch. Brave souls.

In true Minnesotan fashion average Joes and Janes volunteers started grabbing the injured and taking them to hospitals almost immediately. Many of whom had rushed to the accident on foot.

At the very moment the bridge went down a fully loaded train was crossing under the structure and it was just barely past rush hour. In 2005 a report listed the bridge as deficient. The U of M had been involved studying the bridge and report. That stress test involved stacking sand filled dump trucks on key placements. I have yet to hear if any of the beams were x-rayed and to make matters worst the steal is painted which greatly screws with the engineers visual inspections.

It was built in the same year (1967) as the Ohio Silver bridge. Which went down in an eerily similar fashion.

A University of Minnesota Civil Engineer in a report to MN-DOT recently noted that this bridge is considered to be a non-redundant structure. That is, if any one member fails, the entire bridge can collapse. A key factor is that there are only four pylons holding up the arch. Any damage to any one pylon would be catastropic. The textbook example of a non-redundant bridge is the Silver Bridge over the Ohio River. It failed shortly before Christmas in 1967 resulting in 46 deaths. A single piece of hardware failed due to a tiny manufacturing defect. But that piece was non-redundant, and the entire bridge collapsed into the icy river. Today, bridge engineers design bridges so that any single piece of the bridge can fail without causing the entire bridge to collapse. It is tragic that the I-35W bridge was built a few years too early to benefit from that lesson.

With as many workers and engineers as there were working daily on the struture, Muslim terrorism is unlikely but can not be ruled out.

It also pales in comparrison with the Hinckley Fire. Following an extended drought, up to 1,000 burned alive, 400+ square miles burned to the ground. Fire speeds were at one point so great that it almost overtook one train. I only mention this because I’m fricking tired of hearing Twin Citie media dweebs calling the bridge’s collapse as one of the largest Minnesota disasters.

Having gone over the bridge hundreds of times gives no validity to my opinon but it appears it was just the bridge’s time. The pure miracle is the low number of deaths.

Timber Wolf on August 2, 2007 at 10:38 AM

You are correct Catseye – one end did start falling first but then the other end dropped quickly without pivoting.

We have a bunch of big overpass projects going on here in FL and sometimes it looks like they are put together about as well as a child stacking blocks. We have afternoon storms that most people would mistake for hurricanes, so I *assume* they are built to some sort of standard…

rockbend on August 2, 2007 at 10:45 AM

I’m wondering why no one has interviewed Ted Kennedy. If anyone knows what it’s like to drive off a bridge he would.

repvoter on August 2, 2007 at 10:47 AM

You are correct Catseye – one end did start falling first but then the other end dropped quickly without pivoting.

Freeze the second frame and look at the line created by the bridge deck. There is a “kink” in the span, which is where all the rotation is taking place.

TexasDan on August 2, 2007 at 10:52 AM

It doesn’t look like terrorism, but Homeland Security seems to be able to rule out terrorism within an hour of any incident.

I believe the statement was to effect: we have no evidence of a connection to terrorism at this time.

IMO, when something like this happens, it is more prudent to tell people what you know, which in this is “we haven’t seen anything to make us think it’s terrorism”, than to conceal information (or lack thereof) and leaving the entire country to guess.

If there were any grounds to suspect terrorism in this case, it would have implied taking a lot of expensive precautions to guard similar structures, given AQ’s favored tactic of hitting multiple targets simultaneously. By telling people there was no evidence of terrorism, they probably saved the taxpayers millions of dollars.

LagunaDave on August 2, 2007 at 10:58 AM

[TexasDan on August 2, 2007 at 10:15 AM]

If you look at the frontpage photo from yesterday, there is another span to the right and off-camera. From photos in the queue that Lileks linked to last night and the action seen on the video, I think the girders span the right support.

If the failure was in the span off-camera, the moment forces might cause enough displacement to pull the span on-camera off of its left support, which by the look of it was just roller connection. The failure off-camera would explain the girder buckling you note, a buckling that would also contribute to the displacement at the left end of the span.

Dusty on August 2, 2007 at 11:04 AM

Allah, just yesterday the Bergen Record had a story up about the deficient inspections of dams, flood control projects and even factories storing chemicals by the State DEP. They’re not even up to date on inspecting those structures, many of which are deficient and could be prone to failure with loss of life or property possible.

It’s all about priorities, and no one seems focused on the problem, least of all the states themselves. Routine maintenance and rehab isn’t sexy enough, but that’s what keeps the infrastructure going.

lawhawk on August 2, 2007 at 11:05 AM

Freeze the second frame and look at the line created by the bridge deck. There is a “kink” in the span, which is where all the rotation is taking place.

When I first watched it, I had the impression the collapse started from the right. But the right side of the frame is much closer to the camera, and the center of the bridge, which is a lot farther away, falls a considerable distance between the first and second frames.

Actually, in the *first* frame it looks to me like the bottom strut has already failed in the center of the bridge. Follow the arc of the bottom arch, rather than looking at the roadway. There looks like a kink in arch in the first frame, before the roadway below it starts to fall in the second frame.

The video is, I think, shot at 4 frames/second. If the bridge started to free-fall when frame 1 was shot, it would only drop about a foot before frame 2. The fact that it seems to fall a lot more suggests to me it was already coming down in frame 1.

LagunaDave on August 2, 2007 at 11:15 AM

Freaky Deaky

Labamigo on August 2, 2007 at 11:25 AM

Dusty on August 2, 2007 at 11:04 AM

I agree that pulling off the seat at the support would be consitent with the failure we see in the video.

Star Trib says NTSB is looking at vibration and fatigue failure, presumably at the support.

TexasDan on August 2, 2007 at 11:26 AM

I don’t have a problem paying taxes for military, security, or infrastructure. So where is my money going? Oh, that’s right, social programs. Where’s the CCC/WPA when you need ‘em?

TinMan13 on August 2, 2007 at 11:40 AM

We only get a glimpse but traffic doesn’t appear to be bumper to bumper, contrary to the reports yesterday.

Yeah, it became clear that “bumper to bumper” was BS very earlier, otherwise we’d have hundreds dead and injured, the bridge was something like 480 feet long wasn’t it?

Anyway, I say controlled demolition. I’m going to see if Alex Jones and a bunch of bored dumb ass kids in their dorms can tell me if it fell in proper free fall time, if there are visible explosions, and teach me about physics even though not a single physicist will agree with them. Be afraid Council on Foreign Relations, we’ve got you in our cross hairs on this one!

RightWinged on August 2, 2007 at 11:48 AM

the Strib, ominously, reports 20 people are missing.

That’s probably the number of illegals working on the bridge at the time of the collapse.

jaime on August 2, 2007 at 11:49 AM

You know that blockqoute about the systemic nature of the problem from Popular Mechanics reminds me of the highway boom post WWII. Its coming again as well as a another “Gilded Age” all the signs are there. New Cold War, Republicans/Blue Dogs in office, a new highway program, Mustangs back-Camaro on the way, a brief recession to adjust for immigration enforcement/housing bubble, military vets driving population growth, and shale oil will make its appearance in about 6 years. You heard it here first friends.

Theworldisnotenough on August 2, 2007 at 11:51 AM

LagunaDave on August 2, 2007 at 11:15 AM

Yea, I think you are right, looking at the first frame the arch (on the far side of the river) looks not so much kinked as twisted and deformed. In fact if you play the first two frames back and forth several times you can see what to my untrained eye appears to be a section of the arch across the river sheering as the road deck begins to fall.

doriangrey on August 2, 2007 at 11:54 AM

The roads in Michigan are completely terrible.

I mean, there are some major roads that should not be drivable, I feel like my car’s suspension would collapse on US23.

The bridge inspectors in Pittsburgh must feel more secure about their jobs…

benrand on August 2, 2007 at 12:33 PM

The bridge is a single long arch… my Coast Guard Auxiliary flotilla was there until 2AM this morning assisting in debris cataloguing and rescue. I saw nothing to even remotely suggest an ordinance blast or anything of the sort…. You black helicopter watchers just let the experts take care of the mess. Oh, The National Guard was there with a Comm vehicle and other equipment. It’s looking more and more like stress and fatigue. No amount of money could have prevented this given what we knew and who would could have predicted this? The geniuses on this thread?
To my tax and spend liberal dolts….. light rail wouldn’t and couldn’t fix this. Forgive me for being so rude and emotional, but I have a vested interest in this matter. Thank you for all the support and concern you have shown to the people of MPLS and MN but let our experts do their jobs, okay?

MNDavenotPC on August 2, 2007 at 1:24 PM

From Dingy Harry’s first public comments, it looks like the Democrat sound byte is going to be “crumbing infrastructure”.

Glad to see HotAir got the memo…

There is a right way to address this problem, and that is to invest in R&D and technology that will allow potential catastrophic failures to be identified sooner, easier and cheaper. Will prevent all disasters like this? No, of course not.

But neither will the alternative, Democrat, solution, which will be to dole out enormous sums of money as political prizes to labor unions in well-connected congressional districts and states, randomly reinforcing or rebuilding countless bridges which are minimal safety risks.

The difference is that the technological approach is a lot more cost effective, and probably also more effective at reducing real safety problems.

You cannot completely prevent any bridge, somewhere in America, from ever collapsing, at least not a cost that makes any sense. Suppose we double the Federal Highway Management Agency’s budget by adding $50B/year. Assuming the money can actually spent to do something useful, you would then, best case, halve the rate of failures by inspecting/repairing twice as many bridges every year. Disasters like the one in MSP happen at the rate of 1 or 2 per decade. So you are spending half a trillion dollars extra over 10 years to save, maybe, 25 lives. Of course, there are other costs in terms of the economy, but still, there are a lot of ways to save more than a couple dozen lives with half a trillion dollars – reduce air pollution,
medical research, improve automobile safety, put more police on the street, train more nurses, etc.

We are already spending close to $50B/year in federal money on maintenance of highways and bridges – that’s $1B/state, which is pretty sizable compared to the average state government budget.

It makes a lot more sense to me to improve the technology so that money (and whatever more is really needed to address significant safety risks) is used better (where it is needed), rather than throwing more of it at the problem in a hit or miss fashion that wastes a significant fraction of it.

LagunaDave on August 2, 2007 at 2:08 PM

MNDavenotPC on August 2, 2007 at 1:24 PM

God bless you and thank you for your service.

doriangrey on August 2, 2007 at 2:15 PM

My heart goes out to the families of the lost loved ones. What an awful tragedy.

The Ed Schitz comment is an example of how lefties think…use a horrible situation where hundreds or thousands are suffering as an political opportunity. Shameless moron. Bad Schitz!

saved on August 2, 2007 at 4:07 PM

So the government was funding repairs to the part of the bridge that the public can see (the road surface) while maintenence of the weight bearing structure that is actually important to society was insufficient. I don’t think there could be a more accurate analogy for how the entire government works or what those despicable people on Capitial Hill do every day.

Resolute on August 2, 2007 at 7:49 PM

I didn’t think it was terrorism. Muslim suicide nutters are apparently presdisposed to a love of explosions. If they didn’t do a truck bomb for actual damage, they’d do it just for aesthetic purposes.

BKennedy on August 2, 2007 at 11:11 PM