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10 Years After I-35 Bridge Collapse: Are Bridges Better?

Posted on: September 25, 2017 by Edwards & Patterson Law

bridge collapse

Imagine something on which we depend every day suddenly failing. Unexpected, catastrophic, totally unbelievable. It happened in Minneapolis 10 years ago when a bridge carrying Interstate 35 West over the Mississippi River suddenly collapsed. No one expects something that appears so massive to fail, and yet this eight-lane bridge plunged 13 people to their deaths and injured 145 more. The I-35 bridge was determined to be structurally deficient and required significant rehabilitation or replacement. Since that day, bridge collapse has been a growing concern across the United States.

Growing Concern over Possible Bridge Collapse

In 2007, the I-35 bridge was one of over 74,000 bridges that were rated as “structurally deficient” by the National Transportation Safety Board. That number represented 12.3% of the total number of bridges in the United States. The I-35 bridge received that rating because of a design flaw, and not deferred maintenance or overuse. Consequently, more concerted efforts have since been effected at all levels of government to improve bridge conditions across the country.

The nation’s bridges are aging; the average bridge is approximately 43 years old and 39% are over 50 years old. Since most bridges are designed for a 50-year lifespan, a growing number are needing replacement or major rehabilitation. According to the federal government, an estimated $17.5 billion was invested in bridge projects in 2012, representing $6 billion of federal money and $11.5 billion from state and local money. The most recent estimate available reveals that a $123 billion backlog of bridging projects exists, with approximately 56,000 structurally deficient bridges across the country.

In light of these facts, motorists are becoming increasingly concerned over the safety of the nation’s driving infrastructure. Crumbling and potholed roads are more apparent month by month, but bridge collapse does not show outward warning signs to the untrained eye. Some have even changed their normal routes of travel to avoid major bridges whenever possible. Not knowing which bridges are sound and which are unsafe, this may be a wise precaution where practicable.

Legal Representation for Infrastructure Accidents

If you or a loved one are involved in an accident due to deteriorating roadways or other infrastructure in or around Tulsa, McAlester or eastern Oklahoma, you need legal representation to protect your rights and hold those responsible accountable. Negligence in maintaining safe routes of travel for motorists can cause serious accidents and injuries. The complicated nature of overlapping municipalities and areas of responsibility can make determining the responsible party or parties difficult.

The Tulsa personal injury lawyers at Edwards and Patterson Law have handled all manner of accident and injury claims, including those caused by poor road maintenance or infrastructure problems. We have the experience and expertise to sift through complex legal jurisdictions to find those responsible for upkeep on specific areas of roads and bridges. If poor maintenance or design flaws have contributed to your accident, you may be entitled to compensation.

Contact us today online or by calling 877-403-8417 to schedule your free consultation. You pay absolutely no fees unless you are awarded compensation by the courts.

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  • Contact Edwards & Patterson Law Firm today for a free consultation.
  • Contact Edwards & Patterson Law Firm today for a free consultation.
  • Contact Edwards & Patterson Law Firm today for a free consultation.
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