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Missouri Department of Transportation

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MoDOT News Release 

For more information, contact Community Relations, (573) 751-2840.

January 16, 2008 12:00 AM
MoDOT Studying Minneapolis-Style Bridges;
Statement from Director Pete Rahn In Response to Federal Findings

JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri Department of Transportation Director Pete Rahn issued the following statement today in response to yesterday's federal report citing gusset plates (steel plates that connect the beams of a bridge's frame) as the probable cause of the Minneapolis bridge collapse.

 "Knowing what likely caused the Minneapolis bridge collapse is a big help to us, and I appreciate the quick work of the federal officials involved.  We're using their recommendations in the study we've begun today of all 232 truss bridges on the state highway system - these truss bridges are the type that use gusset plates in the design.  Any deficiencies we discover will be corrected immediately.

 "We don't expect to find anything that is compromising the safety of these bridges.  All our bridges are inspected regularly, and are designed to safely handle traffic, or else we'd close them right away.  But we need to double-check and make sure all our truss bridges are safe, because we cannot let what happened in Minnesota happen here in Missouri.

 "Our bridge engineers are studying bridge designs and plans, analyzing all the loads on each of them, and making sure all the support components, including gusset plates, are strong enough to handle the traffic they carry.  The 232 truss bridges average 67 years old."

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