Monday, October 29, 2007

Minnesota Selects New Bridge Design

After Minnesota DOT's selection of a new design for the I-35W bridge, NPR's David Malakoff brings our attention to an interesting 2003* ASCE paper by Wardhana and Hadipriono which analyzed over 500 bridge failures in the U.S. and determined that most are caused by floods. Malakoff has also compiled a list of notable bridge disasters (find more bridge disasters here). From just our current decade we have:
  • 2007: A truck packed with passengers and merchandise overloads a bridge in the West Africa's Republic of Guinea, causing it to collapse, killing 65 people.
  • 2006: Bridge collapse in Quebec, Canada kills five.
  • 2005: A flood washes away a rail bridge in India, killing 114.
  • 2005: A highway bridge under construction in southern Spain collapses, killing six.
  • 2002: A barge hits a 500-foot section of a bridge spanning the Arkansas River in Webbers Falls, causing it to collapse, killing 14 people.
  • 2001: A bridge collapses in Lisbon, Portugal, causing a tour bus to plunge into a river, killing more than 50.

* Malakoff cites the study as "2005," but your humble blogger believes this to be a typo.

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