venerdì 3 agosto 2007

Officials see new urgency to improve USA's bridges

Against the shock of a mighty span's inexplicable fall — at rush hour, into the nation's greatest river — bridge experts offer this reassurance: The same federally mandated inspections that show one-quarter of U.S. bridges to be "structurally deficient" or "functionally obsolete" also indicate they're in very little danger of collapsing.
Of course, that's what the same experts would have said about the Interstate 35W bridge in Minneapolis before it crashed down Wednesday.

As rescue crews searched the Mississippi River on Thursday for what could be up to 30 more victims beyond the four confirmed dead, it was clear that the bridge's sudden failure — like a similar one 40 years ago in West Virginia that inspired the inspection system — could put a new focus on the nation's decaying bridges.

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