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Safety Overrules Beauty for New Minneapolis Bridge

The new Minneapolis Bridge opened last week; reports from the Associated Press and Twin Cities.com (Pioneer Press) differ in regards to the bridge completion’s much later deadline.

From ap.org: “Time also was a factor, since the old steel girder span's collapse on Aug. 1, 2007 — killing 13 people and injuring more than 100 — severed a major transportation link through the heart of the Twin Cities.? “This week's opening will come about three weeks ahead of schedule.?

Twincities.com said that the bridge was originally due for completion by Dec. 24th of this year.

While some hoped that those involved in reconstructing the bridge would take the opportunity to build a “tourist? friendly bridge, the features of safety and functionality overruled beauty and boldness.

The Associated Press reports, “Government officials opted for practicality over pretension.?The first goal was to have a bridge that was safe and effective," Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak said.

This time around, extreme precautions to preserve and protect the structure and security of the bridge were major factors during construction.

The Pioneer Press reports that sensor meters will be used to gauge the “expansion joints and bearings,? two components of a bridge that are used to evaluate its exact condition.

All of the information that the monitors receive is sent directly to MnDOT engineers where they are able to monitor every component of the bridge.

John Chiglo, project manager for MnDOT tells the Pioneer Press, “built-in technology gives MnDOT a look at the bridge it can't get with other bridges.?

With all of the technology that’s going in to this bridge, it’s serving as a learning tool for those involved with bridge construction.

Story links:
http://www.twincities.com/ci_10455168?nclick_check=1
http://www.salon.com/wires/ap/us/2008/09/14/D936L7FG0_bridge_collapse_new_design/index.html