Bridges beyond Minnesota’s borders

A look at what other states are doing as a result of Tuesday’s NTSB determination that the design of gussets were at fault in the I-35W bridge collapse.

Alabama – Alabama Department of Transportation officials today will begin checking the stress levels and thickness of gusset plates on the state’s three deck-truss bridges.

Michigan - “We’re confident in the way they’re designed, but also we’re prepared to do whatever follow-up or recommended action the Federal Highway Administration may ask us to do,” Michigan Department of Transportation spokesman Bill Shreck said. “We’ll do whatever it takes to make sure our bridges are safe.”

Missouri – A study of Missouri’s 232 truss bridges on the state highway system is focusing on the gusset plates used in their design, according to a statement issued by Pete Rahn, Missouri Department of Transportation director. “We don’t expect to find anything that is compromising the safety of these bridges,” Rahn said. “All our bridges are inspected regularly and are designed to safely handle traffic, or else we’d close them right away. But we need to double-check and make sure all our truss bridges are safe because we cannot let what happened in Minnesota happen here in Missouri.”

Ohio – The Ohio Department of Transportation said Wednesday it’s ahead of the curve in bridge inspections and already carefully examines the steel plates that connect bridge beams.

Pennsylvania – As a result of the Minneapolis collapse, PennDOT spent $1.9 million on extra inspections of 28 steel truss bridges it maintains. An unknown amount was spent on similar inspections by county and municipal governments. State officials are trying to get more information from the federal government on the extent of the testing required in the wake of Tuesday’s announcement.

Washington state – The 26 state-owned truss-deck bridges, similar to the one that collapsed in Minneapolis, have been checked within the last year and inspectors have found no problems with their gussets, said state bridge maintenance engineer Harvey Coffman.

  • Jim

    It’s a good time to be in the inspection business. Not so good to be a driver.

  • Bob Collins

    I’m curious, now. Are there bridges out there that you folks refuse to drive across? I consider myself a reasonable person. I don’t have an aluminum hat or anything. But I will not drive over the Lafayette Bridge in St. Paul; I’ll cut over Plato to Robert St., instead.