In light of Minnesota tragedy, Missouri bridges will be scrutinized

Thursday, August 2, 2007

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Missouri will begin immediately inspecting any bridges that have a similar design as the one that collapsed Wednesday in Minnesota, a Transportation Department spokesman said Thursday.

Missouri has 10,000 bridges in its state highway system. Officials are now identifying which of them are deck arch truss bridges, which is the type that collapsed in Minnesota, Department of Transportation spokesman Jeff Briggs said.

"It's not a typical bridge structure," he said. "Gov. Blunt has ordered us to take a look at them right away.

"We're figuring out how many similar structures we have and where they are. We are beginning a very close-up examination of the bridges today. We're looking for possible problems and we will fix them."

Missouri has contacted Minnesota's Department of Transportation to offer assistance, as well as the federal Highway Administration to determine a cause for the structure collapse.

"What we don't know is what caused the bridge in Minnesota to collapse," he said. "Once we do, that will give us more guidance what to look for."

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