Monday, September 10, 2007

The road to Hell is paved with exceptions

In interviews with The Associated Press, some experts warned that the practice of issuing state permits that allow trucks to exceed the usual weight limits can weaken steel and concrete, something that investigators say may have contributed to the Minneapolis bridge collapse Aug. 1 that killed 13 people.

"We talk about this all the time and the fear that we have is that we're going to have the same sort of disaster here that happened in Minnesota," said Don Lee, executive director of the Texas Conference of Urban Counties....

The danger is magnified by a recent federal finding that 18 percent of the nation's bridges either do not have weight limits posted or incorrectly calculated the weight limits that are posted. Also, a federal study last year classified 26 percent of the nation's bridges as either structurally deficient or functionally obsolete....

"It's one of the most befuddling policies we deal with, that we spend millions of dollars to build roads ... and the state comes along and for a pittance gives out a permit to allow trucks to destroy those roads in a matter of months or years," said Lee, the Texas official. |Overweight Trucks Damage Infrastructure - My Way News|
Ah, the beauty of local politics and industry campaign contributions.

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