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 Minneapolis bridge collapse: Is this the cause?
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HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 08/04/2007 :  04:07:52  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message  Reply with Quote
This is not humor, nor has the following low-resolution photo, from Wiki, been modified by me, except to insert a red arrow. The text accompanying the larger version of the photo states, "Taken April, 2006." My caption is from Wiki's main article on the bridge disaster (the "Gallery" section).


April 2006 photo of bridge looking north.

My red arrow points at an area of interest to me. I can't tell with any certainty from this photo, but it looks as though the steel resting upon that concrete pier might be corroded.

Wiki says:
As of August 3, 2007, the official cause of the collapse has yet to be determined. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) launched its investigation immediately after the collapse. NTSB investigators were particularly interested in learning why a part of the bridge's southern end shifted as it collapsed.[10][62][63]
The discolored steel seen in the above photo would be on the "southern end." The "steel truss arch" construction of the bridge had the entire span over the Mississippi resting on four piers, two on the north bank, two on the south. If this south-west pier failed, it would seem that the bridge's southern end would have shifted as noted by the NTSB, then caused the whole span to collapse.

Also, from watching the video of the collapse on the Wiki page, it does appear to me that this southern end went down first, by a fraction of a second. You can see the deck of the span incline toward the camera as it falls. (A second or two later, another bridge section on the north bank follows it down. I suspect this was due to the span pulling away from the north bank, due to the collapse beginning on the south bank. That would also explain why the piers on the north bank were leaning toward the river after the collapse.):


Surveillance camera image of the bridge collapse on Aug. 1, 2007.

Both images here are taken from near the southwest corner of the bridge, looking north.

We may be looking at the precise point of failure here.


Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.

Edited by - HalfMooner on 08/04/2007 05:43:05

Randy
SFN Regular

USA
1988 Posts

Posted - 08/04/2007 :  06:19:44   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Randy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I did a quick throw-together enlargement of the first eleven
frames. It's a large file...over four megs in size.

http://www.pbase.com/image/83333216/original.jpg

"We are all connected; to each other biologically, to the earth chemically, to the rest of the universe atomically."

"So you're made of detritus [from exploded stars]. Get over it. Or better yet, celebrate it. After all, what nobler thought can one cherish than that the universe lives within us all?"
-Neil DeGrasse Tyson
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 08/04/2007 :  07:18:05   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I dunno, I dunno. Could be.

I was a little suprised that the death toll was so low, but then the water isn't all that deep nor the currents very fast. And there wasn't a lot of rubble raining down on the vehicles that went in.

At the risk of sounding like the gore crow that I am, I'd love to be a contract diver on that job.




"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

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Kil
Evil Skeptic

USA
13457 Posts

Posted - 08/04/2007 :  09:19:35   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Kil's Homepage  Send Kil an AOL message  Send Kil a Yahoo! Message Send Kil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
As I understand it, the failure of any member of the bridges truss system could have caused the bridge to fail. And since it had been inspected for outward appearances of trouble, I would doubt that the dark part that you pointed to Mooner wasn't looked it.

My thinking is the best they will ever come up with for the exact weakness will never be known. Educated guesses will have to do…

Uncertainty may make you uncomfortable. Certainty makes you ridiculous.

Why not question something for a change?

Genetic Literacy Project
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Randy
SFN Regular

USA
1988 Posts

Posted - 08/04/2007 :  09:35:44   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Randy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
http://www.pbase.com/dwerbil/image/83331454/original.jpg

Here's a blow-up of Mooner's pic.

"We are all connected; to each other biologically, to the earth chemically, to the rest of the universe atomically."

"So you're made of detritus [from exploded stars]. Get over it. Or better yet, celebrate it. After all, what nobler thought can one cherish than that the universe lives within us all?"
-Neil DeGrasse Tyson
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HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 08/04/2007 :  12:21:15   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks for the enlargements, Randy!

I like to put my layman's brain to work on things like this, but the more I consider this thing, the more convinced I am that I don't know. Those dark patches might be red-lead paint primer. The collapse could have as easily begun with the other pier on the same side. Kil is dead right, any member's failure would have made the bridge fall. As I recall, one of the inspectors' criticisms of the bridge had been the lack of structural redundancy. Yes, it might have failed where my arrow is, but I don't have real evidence of that.

I've learned a bit in my personal research. I had not really undertood the simple facts of how a truss works. For instance, the structural beams in a truss are not subjected to any bending force, only to compression or tension. A very efficient design is also a design without redundancy.

Filthy, I thought of you when I read that the recovery divers are "working by Braille" in six-inch visibility. Your kind of environment, eh?


Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
Edited by - HalfMooner on 08/04/2007 18:43:03
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 08/04/2007 :  13:18:14   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
A blind man could work as a commercial diver; rare indeed is the water clear enough for vision. Most jobs are done in murkey water, by touch, in harbors and canals, and rivers, where the light doesn't penetrate beyond a foot or so. This one is not out of the ordinary, except that it's pretty shallow, and once the body-snatching is finished it's pretty much just a matter of rigging for a crane. Hard work, but a piece o' cake because you don't have to worry about damaging anything.




"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 08/04/2007 :  15:33:17   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message  Reply with Quote





"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

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Dr. Mabuse
Septic Fiend

Sweden
9666 Posts

Posted - 08/04/2007 :  15:46:45   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Dr. Mabuse an ICQ Message Send Dr. Mabuse a Private Message  Reply with Quote
A clay pot of thermite like the ones the TV show Brainiac used could just as easily have taken down that bridge. Just one pot where the truss hit the concrete pillar.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sjLgzgflCk8

Edited to add:
The Western society, well in fact all developed communities are vunerable, and not much could be done to stop people who really want to harm it. So we must all help to teach people to get along as best we can, so there won't be any need for someone to cause destruction.

Dr. Mabuse - "When the going gets tough, the tough get Duct-tape..."
Dr. Mabuse whisper.mp3

"Equivocation is not just a job, for a creationist it's a way of life..." Dr. Mabuse

Support American Troops in Iraq:
Send them unarmed civilians for target practice..
Collateralmurder.
Edited by - Dr. Mabuse on 08/04/2007 15:49:44
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Dr. Mabuse
Septic Fiend

Sweden
9666 Posts

Posted - 08/04/2007 :  15:52:54   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Dr. Mabuse an ICQ Message Send Dr. Mabuse a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by HalfMooner
A very efficient design is also a design without redundancy.

There should be no problem with a construction without redundancy if the lack of redundancy is accounted for by increased safety mariginals, and proper inspection.
On the Swedish news, they said that the lack of proper inspection was the reason the bridge was allowed to deteriorate to the point of falling to pieces. They also pointed out that there were more bridges like that in the US.

Dr. Mabuse - "When the going gets tough, the tough get Duct-tape..."
Dr. Mabuse whisper.mp3

"Equivocation is not just a job, for a creationist it's a way of life..." Dr. Mabuse

Support American Troops in Iraq:
Send them unarmed civilians for target practice..
Collateralmurder.
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HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 08/04/2007 :  18:25:24   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Dr. Mabuse

Originally posted by HalfMooner
A very efficient design is also a design without redundancy.

There should be no problem with a construction without redundancy if the lack of redundancy is accounted for by increased safety mariginals, and proper inspection.
On the Swedish news, they said that the lack of proper inspection was the reason the bridge was allowed to deteriorate to the point of falling to pieces. They also pointed out that there were more bridges like that in the US.
I think that Swedish newscast was being as speculative as I was, but it sounds as though they drew a firmer conclusion than I did, though with as little evidence. They may well turn out to be right, but until we have the forensic results, it's too early to know.

Here's a long doctoral thesis (in PDF format) that had been done in 2001 with the safety of that very bridge being the subject. Note that one of the thesis' conclusions is that the bridge did not need to be replaced:




Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
Edited by - HalfMooner on 08/04/2007 18:40:02
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Ricky
SFN Die Hard

USA
4907 Posts

Posted - 08/04/2007 :  19:45:02   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Ricky an AOL message Send Ricky a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Nice find Half. But note that the report says that the bridge does not need to be prematurely replaced, which I take to meaning that it is not suffering more wear and tear than it was expected to be. The conclusion section calls for regular thorough inspections of certain sections where the most stress was observed.

But I can't seem to find your quote in the document, what page is it on?

Why continue? Because we must. Because we have the call. Because it is nobler to fight for rationality without winning than to give up in the face of continued defeats. Because whatever true progress humanity makes is through the rationality of the occasional individual and because any one individual we may win for the cause may do more for humanity than a hundred thousand who hug their superstitions to their breast.
- Isaac Asimov
Edited by - Ricky on 08/04/2007 19:47:48
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HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 08/04/2007 :  19:48:09   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Ricky

Nice find Half. But note that the report says that the bridge does not need to be prematurely replaced, which I take to meaning that it is not suffering more wear and tear than it was expected to be. The conclusion section calls for regular thorough inspections of certain sections where most stress was observed.

But I can't seem to find your quote in the document, what page is it on?
Page 2, number 16, "Abstract". And that "nice find" I must credit to Wiki's link in the footnotes of the article.


Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
Edited by - HalfMooner on 08/04/2007 20:00:58
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filthy
SFN Die Hard

USA
14408 Posts

Posted - 08/08/2007 :  11:28:42   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send filthy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well, the cause of the collapse has been discovered. It was all them queers that Minnisota has been coddling for all these years, and God's gotten sick of it.
Fred Phelps Is Coming

Rev. Phelps says God hates Minnesota, the "land of the sodomite damned."

The Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kan., plans to stage protests at funerals of victims of the 35W bridge collapse to state that God made the bridge fall because he hates America, and especially Minnesota, because of its tolerance of homosexuality
Yep, Mediocre Fred's disfunctional family is coming to the Twin Cities to help spread the misery; isn't that wonderful?

Actually, I think that the existence of the Westboro Baptist Church, and others of the ilk, is strong evidence in favor of the non-existence of God. After all, what sort of a diety would tolorate such?




"What luck for rulers that men do not think." -- Adolf Hitler (1889 - 1945)

"If only we could impeach on the basis of criminal stupidity, 90% of the Rethuglicans and half of the Democrats would be thrown out of office." ~~ P.Z. Myres


"The default position of human nature is to punch the other guy in the face and take his stuff." ~~ Dude

Brother Boot Knife of Warm Humanitarianism,

and Crypto-Communist!

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BigPapaSmurf
SFN Die Hard

3192 Posts

Posted - 08/08/2007 :  11:42:07   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send BigPapaSmurf a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I want a T-Shirt which has God saying, "I hate America, especially Minnesota!

"...things I have neither seen nor experienced nor heard tell of from anybody else; things, what is more, that do not in fact exist and could not ever exist at all. So my readers must not believe a word I say." -Lucian on his book True History

"...They accept such things on faith alone, without any evidence. So if a fraudulent and cunning person who knows how to take advantage of a situation comes among them, he can make himself rich in a short time." -Lucian critical of early Christians c.166 AD From his book, De Morte Peregrini
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BigPapaSmurf
SFN Die Hard

3192 Posts

Posted - 08/08/2007 :  11:54:11   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send BigPapaSmurf a Private Message  Reply with Quote
On the subject at hand, it would seem from the speed and totality of the collapse that one of the primary supports failed and cascaded the 3 others when the load shifted, however the picture is not evidence of anything other than surface rust which is not uncommon on any painted steel structure over 5 years old. I certainly wouldnt rule out terrorism, however it would seem to be a non-qeida type operation as you would expect multiple targets in such a case. It would not take a great deal as you could determine the bridges which are waiting to fall down from government reports, gravity is doing most of the work anyway.

That said, I dont think it was terrorism, I would expect a blast cloud in the video and did not see one, and I feel that anyone smart enough to use a thermite device or other non-explosive on a critical point would have chosen a different target. The timing(rush hour)is a case for terror, however it is also when the load was at its peak. (there were construction vehicles on the bridge at the time+loaded bus+50 cars)

"...things I have neither seen nor experienced nor heard tell of from anybody else; things, what is more, that do not in fact exist and could not ever exist at all. So my readers must not believe a word I say." -Lucian on his book True History

"...They accept such things on faith alone, without any evidence. So if a fraudulent and cunning person who knows how to take advantage of a situation comes among them, he can make himself rich in a short time." -Lucian critical of early Christians c.166 AD From his book, De Morte Peregrini
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