Trans Texas Corridor Public Meetings: If you’re familiar with Texas’ proposed new system of highway/transit/rail/utility corridors, you’ll be happy to know that Public Meetings for the first section are under way. The Trans Texas Corridor is a system of highways separate from the existing Interstate Highway system, intended to move things at high speed from one point to another. They will not go through cities, like the Interstate system does.
I-35 Bridge Collapse Interim Finding: The NTSB has issued a statement about the I-35W bridge collapse in Minneapolis. Apparently, the Gusset plates were undersized, which may have contributed to the collapse.
“Although the Board’s investigation is still on-going and no determination of probable cause has been reached, interim findings in the investigation have revealed a safety issue that warrants attention,” said NTSB Chairman Mark V. Rosenker. “During the wreckage recovery, investigators discovered that gusset plates at eight different joint locations in the main center span were fractured. The Board, with assistance from the FHWA, conducted a thorough review of the design of the bridge, with an emphasis on the design of the gusset plates. This review discovered that the original design process of the I-35W bridge led to a serious error in sizing some of the gusset plates in the main truss.”
It’s my understanding that some of the Gusset plates on the I-35 bridge were found to be half as thick as they should have been. In this type of bridge, these are critical structural members. Here is a quick diagram of a Gusset plate:
Interstate 35 Bridge as Compared to State Budget: The Governor of Minnesota has released his recommendations for transportation funding for the next year. It looks like he’s asking for $2.1 billion in assorted funding. The new I-35 bridge has a budget allocation of $250 million, 100% of which is Federal Funding, not impacting the state budget. Nice bridge.