The evidence that bureaucracy is endlessly inefficient and bumbling is always right in front of our noses. The Minnesota I-35W bridge collapse is a dramatic example of how governmental bureaucratic organizations always fail.
The Minnesota I-35W bridge was built back in 1967, making the bridge 40 years old. When the bridge was inspected back in 1994, the inspectors documented a number of problems. One of the problems was one of the joints where steel beams rested on a pier — the pictures of it I saw on “Geraldo At Large” over the weekend on Fox News Channel were scary looking. Every subsequent inspection of the bridge spelled out all of the problems in painstaking detail, yet the bureaucrats somehow chose to ignore the inspection reports, dutifully filing them away and assuming that everything was okay.
The bridge was currently being resurfaced with new concrete. I read an article where the construction workers that were working the resurfacing project were saying that as they removed more and more of the old concrete, the bridge started to become more and more “wobbly.”
Every bridge vibrates vertically with an up and down motion as traffic goes across it — this is perfectly normal bridge behavior and MUST take place
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. However, side-to-side motion ISN’T normal and is a huge warning sign that something is terribly wrong.
Every highway and bridge construction project has a state inspector. If the inspector was present, he or she had to be noticing the wobble. I’m sure it would have been a big topic of conversation between the construction workers working on the bridge deck.
Here’s what I think happened — as more of the concrete was removed, the steel beams at the non-functioning joint no longer had the concrete to help hold them in the upright position. The beams at the non-functioning hinge joints were pushing against each other and that caused them to want to twist. As the concrete was removed, the beams were able to twist under the pressure. With the wobbling vibrating motion of the rush hour traffic on the bridge, things under the bridge likely really started to tear apart. Someone watching under the bridge at the beams resting on the piers would have witnessed the structure begin to fall apart, perhaps with chunks of concrete or metal beginning to fall to the ground. The traffic on top of the bridge deck was completely oblivious to the destruction going on underneath. The short of it is that the twisting motion of the affected steel beams got to a critical point of no return, and the beams flipped sideways, causing a catastrophic failure of the entire bridge’s structure.
Do you REALLY want government bureaucrats in charge of your health care? I dont…