Minneapolis Bridge Collapse

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First, read the following description of the Minneapolis bridge collapse. Second, read the
article in Wikipedia through the following link, then answer the questions at the bottom
of the page.
Infrastructure in Crisis
Following World War II the United States embarked on an aggressive development
program that resulted in construction of 46,837 miles of interstate highways. However,
by 2010 this highway system was in need of expansion and widespread repair to sustain
the safe movement of commercial and private transportation.
On August 1, 2007, the collapse of a major span of interstate highway I-35W bridging
the Mississippi River in downtown Minneapolis vividly called to public attention the
nation’s crumbling network of bridges, tunnels, and roads. The American Society of Civil
Engineers estimated in 2010 that 26 percent of U.S. bridges are either structurally
deficient or obsolete. The engineers estimated a need for $2.2 trillion in expenditures
through 2014 to bring the infrastructure to acceptable standards.
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Participants in the transportation system are deeply concerned about these and other
growing issues related to safety, congestion, and inadequate system capacity across all
five transportation modes. Most transportation professionals agree the United States is
in need of a far-reaching National Transportation Plan to facilitate both the repair and
reinvention of transportation infrastructure. The 2009 American Recovery and
Reinvestment Act set aside $12 billion for repairs and new infrastructure projects.
However, depressed economic conditions have limited the actual expenditures. On April
15, 2010, the federal Department of Transportation (DOT) released a draft of a five-year
strategic transportation plan entitled “Transportation for a New Generation.”
19
This
document attempts to articulate a revised national transportation policy.
Also, you have to read information in the following link to be able to answer the
questions.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I-35W_Mississippi_River_bridge
Now answer the following questions:
• In your opinion, are our current bridges safe for travel or should the
government put notices on the 12% that were found to be structurally
deficient?
• Is it wise for companies to push for states to allow heavier and heavier loads
to travel the highways?
• How aware do you believe the public is about this safety issue?

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