How special. Yet another freeway bridge in Minnesota falling, this time onto vehicles passing underneath.
Age, freeze-and-thaw cycles and salt contributed to the brew of deterioration that caused 1,200 pounds of concrete to fall in chunks from the underside of a freeway overpass in St. Paul on Saturday, the state’s top bridge engineer said Sunday.
After an inspection in August, officials knew the bridge deck was breaking down, but nothing suggested that pieces would break off within the year, said Dan Dorgan, state bridge engineer with the Minnesota Department of Transportation.
Two vehicles were hit — one on the windshield, one on the hood — and debris from the chunks, which fell from the underside of the Maryland Avenue bridge, choked off traffic on Interstate Hwy. 35E for more than eight hours as crews inspected the overpass and knocked off other loose concrete as a precaution. Traffic backups stretched for miles in both directions on the north-south thoroughfare, which shuttles nearly 140,000 vehicles per day through downtown St. Paul.
This one’s even closer to home. Joy. But hey, Tim Pawlenty is the bees knees and needs to be John McCain’s vice president. (rolling eyes – take our governor, please)