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Excessive Highway Building To Blame For Bridge Woes

<p>Official sources show that Minnesota had been long diverting bridge repair funds to build new highways.</p>
August 5, 2008, 6am PDT | Tim Halbur
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"The bridge collapse should not have been unexpected. The Minnesota tragedy is part of a broader nationwide problem with structurally deficient bridges.

The span on I-35 had been classified as structurally deficient since 1990, meaning that significant load-bearing elements were impaired, although not necessarily in dangerous condition. Bridge inspectors have assigned this status to one in eight bridges across America, totaling more than 70,000, with Pennsylvania topping the list at 5,798. More than 50,000 bridges nationwide are sufficiently damaged that inspectors recommend they be replaced entirely.

The major reasons for this systematic failure are short-sighted politics and misguided policies that cause funding for bridge repair to compete unsuccessfully against money for new highways."

Thanks to Phineas Baxandall

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Published on Friday, August 1, 2008 in Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
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