At the site, Hoeppner talked to construction workers who survived the fall. They had been doing repair work but expressed concern to him that the bridge had been wobbling several days before it collapsed. Every layer of concrete the workers removed, the bridge would wobble even more, they told Hoeppner.
Reading various things, seeing the finger pointing, listening to those just looking for someone to blame, the State's lack of action to fix a bridge that was deemed safe to drive on, yet with some areas of concern...not an abnormal rank among the country's overall bridge rating...
I would like to point out that the bridge was in fact being worked on, that MNDot did what it thought was best in terms of determing safety...drilling many holes in the steel they feared that it would weaken the steel or overall structure. Can't fault them for that, had they done this and the same thing occured they would have been blamed for drilling all those holes to put up steel plates on the stress areas. Damned no matter which route they took.
On the way home from soccer pictures the night it happened I told Pat that MNDot was going to be coming under fire for this, blamed for this. And then we started to discuss the how it could have happened. My own theory was that it's been ungodly hot in the Cities, the normally 8 lane road was down to a measley 2 lane road with traffic bumper to bumper and large machinery placed all over for the work...did I mention that workers were actually WORKING on the bridge...the added heat from the work, the weight of all the cars, perhaps it was just way too much.....Pat said no, not possible, those bridges are made to withstand that sort of stress.
I have stood by my theory simply because I'm a stubborn person...he came home from work yesterday and started talking about how him and his editor were reading an article in the NY Times or something and how her theory went....After he got done telling me what he thought she came up with, I looked at him and said, "Umm, hon, that's what I was trying to tell you the night it happened, but you told me no way." Oh, it is? Oh, well, I didn't look at in that way until I read that article."
Removing layers of concrete could actually weaken the structure and with all of that weight and stress it could have caused this. I personally don't know what the article said but after seeing the above quote from the construction worker, it makes me wonder. I'm no engineer or scientist by any means and can't wait to hear what may have caused this.
Next thing you know, it will be those construction workers on the hot seat, it will be their fault. But no one can predict something like this no matter how many inspections, how many steel plates you put on, how high or low you rate something like this. Humans are capable of only so much, when humans make a mistake, not only does the bridge come tumbling down but the very fabric of humanity. Sad!
Bizarre things happen in life, horrible things that there's just no answer to. Horrible things that could have been prevented. Although it is human to NEED to blame someone for something like this, it's not going to bring back all those who have been lost, filling your pockets with cash will never amount to what this person or that person filled your heart with. Not in my book.