A Bridge and Observatory

The new Penobscot Narrows crossing offers an innovative model for expedited construction

Engineering

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January-February 2008

Volume 96, Number 1
Page 14

DOI: 10.1511/2008.69.14

Minneapolis drivers had no warning that the Interstate 35W bridge over the Mississippi River would collapse beneath them during an evening rush hour last summer. A similar tragedy might have occurred in Maine had inspections not detected severe corrosion in the bridge carrying U.S. Route 1 across the Penobscot River and had traffic not been restricted across it until something could be done. How the situation was handled in Maine can serve as both a model and as a cautionary tale about how to proceed with the timely replacement of bridges in general.

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