Sunday, August 12, 2007

REVIEW OF ENGLAND'S BRIDGES FOLLOWING MINNESOTA TRAGEDY

Our hearts go out to the families of the people injured or killed in the Minnesota bridge collapse. According to recent news reports, it seems that four people are confirmed dead and a further eight are missing. It was a terrible tragedy.

Following the Minnesota bridge collapse, the Highways Agency have begun a review of bridges on England’s A roads and motorways. Their engineers will check the bridges to see if any of them have features similar to the ones which may have caused the tragedy in the U.S. Between them, England’s A roads and motorways contain approximately 17,000 bridges.

6 comments:

Dirty Butter said...

There are three bridges in Alabama made very much like the Minnesota one. they have already inspected them, but the State is holding off on any further action for now. The latest news indicates that it may be a design flaw in a flat piece of metal that connects the bases of several girders, and LOTS of bridges use that design. So, if your inspection teams are not careful, they may be jumping the gun, and will have to do the inspections again.

Also, there's a lot of talk now about the excessive weight that the repair crew had on the bridge, and also the weight of modern day trucks, compared to what the bridge was designed for.

Naomi said...

I heard about the weight the repair crew had on the bridge. I personally wouldn't be surprised if that contributed to the tragedy Rosemary. I think all bridges need to be reviewed both in the States and here in England as the weight of vehicles and trucks going across them now is much heavier than in years gone by.

Sank said...

Remember too, that the steel in Minnesota is subject to rather extreme temperature changes from -30F in the winter to over 100F in the summer. The feeling is that may have had something to do with.

Flying back from Hawaii we taxied directly over the wreck. Morbidly fascinating. Amazing to see...

Naomi said...

I never thought about that Sank. It sounds like you have much warmer summers and more severe winters than we do here in England. I'm sure it was a strange and shocking sight looking at the wreck from above, seeing debris and vehicles in the water where a bridge once stood. Hopefully lessons will be learnt from this tragedy so that nothing like this ever happens again

Dirty Butter said...

Not only do we have greater extremes of climate than you do in England, thanks to your Gulf Stream warming, but the bridges up north also get corroded with salt. At least our southern bridges don't get that assault.

I think they will eventually conclude that it was the weight the repair crew had on the bridge that weakened it to the breaking point, but I'm thinking it's the double trailer trucks that have put so much extra every day wear and tear on all our bridges that did most of the damage. Do you have those in England?

Naomi said...

There certainly seem to be a lot of factors that could have led to this bridge collapse Rosemary.

I wouldn't be surprised if the weight on the bridge had something to do with the collapse. Yes we have double-trailer trucks or "long" vehicles as we call them here in England.