DOTD studying Minneapolis-style bridges
Friday, January 18, 2008 at 12:00:00 AM

BATON ROUGE, La. – Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development Secretary designee William D. Ankner issued the following statement today in response to Tuesday’s federal report citing gusset plates (steel plates that connect the beams of a bridge’s frame) as the probable cause of the Minneapolis bridge collapse.

"Understanding what caused the Minneapolis bridge collapse is critical to DOTD’s ability to ensure the safety and performance of our state’s bridges, and I thank the federal government for their quick assessment of the problem.

"After the Aug. 1 Minneapolis bridge collapse, DOTD bridge inspectors reviewed and analyzed the inspections of all truss bridges in Louisiana. In addition, inspectors re-inspected all deck truss bridges in the state. These analyses and inspections included all gusset plates, and inspectors found no problems. It is important to note that Louisiana has no bridges of the exact design of the Minneapolis bridge. However, in light of the federal government’s findings I have directed DOTD engineers to begin an immediate review of the gusset plate design of all similar bridges in the state."

"My message is that DOTD will remain vigilant in our efforts to assure citizens that travel remains safe in Louisiana."