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Mississippi River Bridge Failure 2007, USA ‪Infrastructure Crises

It was the height of the evening rush hour on Aug. 1, 2007, when the 35W bridge in Minneapolis fell into the Mississippi River. The bridge carried an estimated 140,000 vehicles per day, and the National Transportation Safety Board cited a design flaw as the likely main cause of the collapse. A gusset plate holding the bridge together failed, bringing the bridge down and changing the lives of many Minnesotans forever. Killing 13 people and injuring 145 others. This is a devastating effect of the USA neglecting its infrastructure and it looks set to continue to be neglected.

Tens of millions of American cross over bridges every day without giving it much thought, unless they hit a pothole. But the infrastructure problem goes much deeper than pavement. It goes to crumbling concrete and corroded steel and the fact that nearly 70,000 bridges in America — one out of every nine — is now considered to be structurally deficient.

The majority of bridges were built over 50 years ago when cars and trucks were much lighter. Also they were only designed to last 50 years. Every day millions of people travel across bridges that either need to be replaced or undergo major repairs.

The problem lies with funding. Public spending on infrastructure has fallen to its lowest level since 1947. And the U.S. which used to have the finest infrastructure in the world, is now ranked 16th according to the World Economic Forum, behind Iceland, Spain, Portugal and the United Arab Emirates.

About author

Saad is a civil engineer by profession and love to explore innovative ideas relevant to construction, civil engineering, and home improvement. He loves writing about concrete, DIY guides, home improvement tips, technologies, and more.
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