Sunday, May 26, 2013

I-5 bridge collapse, NTSB and gullibility

This is a problem manufactured by the media (and the civil engineers’ trade union), and swallowed hook-line-and-sinker by a gullible American public. How often do you see a bridge brought down by an idiot in a tractor-trailer who stacks the load so high and so wide that he brings the bridge down? Winning the Powerball lottery is more likely. Sure, the bridge is old (58 years), and it’s got narrow shoulders and limited vertical clearance. DUH! That’s why they have “narrow bridge” and “low clearance” signs. So that idiots in tractor-trailers won’t try to carry loads across the bridge that are wider and higher than the bridge. Don’t blame the bridge; blame the stupid truck driver. 

This reminds me of the bridge where a reckless, speeding driver went off the bridge killing the driver. As a result of public uproar, concrete barriers were installed to insure that out-of-control vehicles won’t leave the bridge. A second reckless/speeding accident occurred some time later. The vehicle didn’t leave the bridge; it went into the opposing lanes where it caused a multicar accident, and several fatalities. The concrete barriers that were installed after the first fatal accident were removed after the second, multi-fatality accident. The moral of the story: don’t try to fix something (bridge) that isn’t broken; you’re liable to make the real problem (dangerous, stupid drivers) worse.

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