Peters Calls on States, Agencies to Inspect All Steel Arch Truss Bridges

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Mary E. Peters yesterday called on all states to immediately inspect any steel deck truss bridges similar to the I-35 bridge that collapsed on Aug. 1 in Minneapolis.

"Even though we don't know what caused this collapse, we want states to immediately and thoroughly examine all similar spans out of an abundance of caution," Peters said.

According to Federal Highway Administration (FHA) data, there are 756 of the relatively unique steel deck truss bridges in the United States. FHA issued the guidance to all state transportation agencies and bridge owners strongly advising them to conduct an inspection or, at minimum, review inspection reports to determine if further action is needed.

Peters has also requested the Department of Transportation's Inspector General to conduct a rigorous assessment of the National Bridge Inspection Program. "What happened in Minnesota is simply unacceptable," Peters said. "We must have a top-to-bottom review of the bridge inspection program to make sure that everything is being done to keep this kind of tragedy from occurring again."

Peters called for the Inspector General to determine if the current federal program delivers the highest level of bridge safety. And, if needed, the Inspector General will make recommendations for future changes to the program.

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