Wednesday, August 8, 2007
Contact: Sarah Echols
Phone: (202) 366-4570
U.S. Secretary of Transportation Mary E. Peters Cautions States to Carefully Consider Extra Weight Caused by Construction Projects on Bridges
WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Secretary of Transportation Mary E. Peters today cautioned states to carefully consider the additional weight placed on bridges during construction or repair projects. Though it has not yet indicated any definitive cause of the Minneapolis I-35W collapse, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has indicated that the stress on the gusset plates may have been a factor, and that one possible stress may be the weight of construction equipment and materials on the bridge.
"Given the questions being raised by the NTSB, it is vital that states remain mindful of the extra weight construction projects place on bridges," Secretary Peters said.
The Secretary has pledged to quickly share with states any information learned from the NTSB investigation. Secretary Peters added that she has directed the Federal Highway Administration to continue to work closely with the NTSB investigators to identify any broader design issues that need to be addressed relating to gusset plates on the I-35W bridge.
The Secretary directed the Federal Highway Administration to issue guidance to all state transportation agencies and bridge owners strongly advising they ensure that the weight of construction equipment and stockpiled raw materials in place for current or future construction work not exceed the load limit for the bridge.