So the veto of the gas tax didn’t result in the 35W bridge collapse?
My esteemed overlord hates to say “I told you so.”
Number 1: When the engineers finally release their report about what actually caused the 35W Bridge Collapse, a lot of regional lefties – Elwyn Tinklenberg, Rep. Alice Hausman, Nick Coleman and others among them – are going to owe the Governor, Lt. Gov/Transportation Commissioner Molnau, the Taxpayers’ League and the “hold the line on taxes” crowd – a lot of apologies for a lot of defamation.
Number 2: None of them will actually give those apologies.
Nick Coleman’s article of August 2nd is no longer linkable. But here are excerpts of Nick’s rabid blather at the time from Roosh Five:
The death bridge was “structurally deficient,” we now learn, and had a rating of just 50 percent, the threshold for replacement. But no one appears to have erred on the side of public safety. The errors were all the other way.
There isn’t any bigger metaphor for a society in trouble than a bridge falling, its concrete lanes pointing brokenly at the sky, its crumpled cars pointing down at the deep waters where people disappeared.
Nick Coleman: Drama Queen. Hack Journalist. Dead Wrong.
Only this isn’t a metaphor.
But when you have a tragedy on this scale, it isn’t just concrete and steel that has failed us.
In a word, it was avoidable.
For half a dozen years, the motto of state government and particularly that of Gov. Tim Pawlenty has been No New Taxes. It’s been popular with a lot of voters and it has mostly prevailed. So much so that Pawlenty vetoed a 5-cent gas tax increase – the first in 20 years – last spring and millions were lost that might have gone to road repair. And yes, it would have fallen even if the gas tax had gone through, because we are years behind a dangerous curve when it comes to the replacement of infrastructure that everyone but wingnuts in coonskin caps agree is one of the basic duties of government.
I’m not just pointing fingers at Pawlenty. The outrage here is not partisan. It is general.
At the federal level, the parsimony is worse, and so is the negligence. A trillion spent in Iraq, while schools crumble, there aren’t enough cops on the street and bridges decay while our leaders cross their fingers and ignore the rising chances of disaster.
Investigators will say the blame lies with designers who erred in calculating the size of key gusset plates, sources say.
Original designers of the Interstate 35W bridge in Minneapolis likely neglected to calculate the size of key gusset plates that eventually failed, a human mistake that culminated 40 years later when 13 people died after the span collapsed, federal safety investigators have found.
They also have determined that corrosion of certain gusset plates, extreme heat and shifting piers did not contribute to the bridge’s collapse on Aug. 1, 2007, according to sources with direct knowledge of the probe.
Elwyn Tinklenberg, Rep. Alice Hausman, Nick Coleman will undoubtedly not be reachable for comment. Mr. Coleman’s resume can probably be found on Monster.com.