NTSB Press Release

National Transportation Safety Board
Office of Public Affairs


NTSB CHAIRMAN TESTIFIES BEFORE THE HOUSE ON STRUCTURALLY DEFICIENT BRIDGES

September 5, 2007

Washington, DC -- National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Mark V. Rosenker testified today before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure on Structurally Deficient Bridges in the United States. During his testimony, he discussed the Safety Board's history of investigating bridge accidents and the Board's investigation into the August 1, 2007, I-35W bridge collapse over the Mississippi River in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

"Forty years ago, following the bridge collapse in Point Pleasant, West Virginia, we issued safety recommendations to the Federal Highway Administration to establish national bridge inspection standards for locating, inspecting, evaluating and correcting bridge deficiencies," Rosenker said. "Currently, Safety Board staff is still on-scene in Minnesota investigating the tragic accident that claimed 13 lives and involved 133 injuries."

A month after the bridge accident, much of the bridge superstructure is still underwater and there is still considerable work remaining to determine why the structure collapsed.

During this initial stage of the investigation, the Safety Board has learned the following:

"We will determine the probable cause of the bridge collapse; make recommendations, and help restore public confidence that this kind of accident will not happen again-that is our mission," Rosenker said.

Last year, Congress turned to the Safety Board to investigate the collapse of ceiling panels in the Big Dig tunnel in Boston. As a result of the NTSB's investigation, there are radical changes in the thinking in the highway construction industry about the long-term structural properties of epoxy in the overhead applications as they relate to epoxy creep.

NTSB Office of Public Affairs: (202) 314-6100

 

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The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is an independent federal agency charged with determining the probable cause
of transportation accidents, promoting transportation safety, and assisting victims of transportation accidents and their families.