ASCE Responds to the I-35W Bridge Collapse

In response to the catastrophic I-35W bridge collapse in Minneapolis, ASCE is playing a significant and proactive role in the review and analysis of one of our nation's tragic infrastructure disasters. Shortly after the collapse occurred, ASCE immediately began to provide technical and authoritative information to the media and has developed a dedicated area on the ASCE website to providing further resources and related information. The website will continue to evolve over the coming days and should serve as an excellent resource to keep members up to date and help in answering any general questions that may be received. ASCE members can take pride in knowing that ASCE and the civil engineering profession continue to play such a key role in understanding and responding to natural and man-made disasters and in improving the resilience of our nation’s critical infrastructure.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

New York Company Indicted in Collapse of Big Dig

BOSTON, Aug. 8 — The supplier of the epoxy that federal officials have blamed for the collapse of a Big Dig tunnel was indicted today in the death of a motorist crushed by falling ceiling panels.

The company, Powers Fasteners Inc., was charged with one count of involuntary manslaughter. It is the first criminal charge in the tunnel debacle, which killed Milena Del Valle, 38, in July 2006 as she was on her way to the airport. Her death ignited an uproar over the safety of the $15 billion Big Dig, the most expensive single public works project in American history. Story published in the NY Times on August 9, 2007 by Pam Belluck.

Potential Flaw Seen in Design of Fallen Bridge

MINNEAPOLIS, Aug. 8 — Investigators have found what may be a design flaw in the bridge that collapsed here a week ago, in the steel parts that connect girders, raising safety concerns for other bridges around the country, federal officials said on Wednesday. The Federal Highway Administration swiftly responded by urging all states to take extra care with how much weight they place on bridges of any design when sending construction crews to work on them. Crews were doing work on the deck of the Interstate 35W bridge here when it gave way, hurling rush-hour traffic into the Mississippi River and killing at least five people. Story by Monica Davey and Matthew Wald in the NY Times, August 9, 2007.

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