We were warned
In July 2001, the Herald of Grand Forks, North Dakota, published an investigative story highlighting the increasing problems with aging bridge infrastructure in Minnesota.
The two-month examination, which relied heavily on computer databases from the U.S. Department of Transportation, found that 1 in 25 Minnesota bridges needed replacing (nationally, about 1 in every 9 bridges needs to be replaced).
For those looking for potential causes of the bridge collapse, the Herald lists the following as common contributors:
- The bridges inability to handle the flow of water in a storm or flow
- Soil erosion around the abutment of the bridge may cause the pilings to be exposed to the elements of nature
- Too heavy of load, speed, surface roughness, and truck suspension interact to amplify stress
- Corrosion from salt and water may cause severe decay of the deck
- Debris clogging a joint prevents movement to relieve stress
- The flow of water may scour away soil under the foundation
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