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Thursday, August 02, 2007

Panic Button: Bridges Falling

Life in an age of transparency...

Other Twin Cities bridges to watch out for - via email chains and webposts, such as this from Eric Hare:

Bridges are scored on a 0-100 rating system. Bridges that are 50 or less are considered "deficient". The bridge that fell yesterday was rated 50.0 according to the list of all deficient bridges in the 7-County area

Note that there are 72 total bridges on this list.

Cross-checked that with the St Paul Bridge index and found that, aside from a few smaller bridges over ravines and so on, we have four major bridges in Saint Paul that qualify as "deficient" - shown here ranked by their rating in 2005:

26.7 Summit Ave over CP Rail Systems and Ayd Mill Rd
40.8 Interstate 35E over BNSF RR, CP Rail Systems & Cayuga St
43.4 Warner Rd EB (Reserve) over BNSF RR, CP Rail Systems, Union Pacific RR
49.5 Hwy 52 (Lafayette Rd) over Mississippi River

The Summit Ave bridge rates so low because at the time it had just been whacked by an empty container train, which ripped out a significant portion of its structure. This has been mostly fixed by now. The remaining 3 should be considered as likely to fail as the I-35W bridge.

Note: I-35E at Cayuga St is the long bridge just North of Pennsylvania. Lafayette is the only one across water (the Mississippi). Some work has been done on this, and its rating may have improved.