MEDIA ALERT: I-35W Bridge Pieces Arrive at MHS Tomorrow

For immediate release

Release dated: 
October 16, 2013
Media contacts: 

Megan Lawson, 651-259-3141, megan.lawson@mnhs.org or Jessica Kohen, 651-259-3148, jessica.kohen@mnhs.org

MEDIA ALERT: I-35W Bridge Pieces Arrive at MHS Tomorrow

WHAT: Four pieces of the I-35W bridge will arrive at the Minnesota Historical Society tomorrow. The pieces will become part of the Society's collection, joining other artifacts from the tragic bridge collapse. The four pieces are: the east and west facing gusset plates (1,300 lbs each), the west-facing upper chord (2,400 lbs) and the west-facing lower chord (6,800 lbs). These remnants are from the U10W truss node which was identified by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) as a likely initiation site for the bridge failure.
WHEN:  Thursday, Oct. 17
TIME:  12:30 - 1:30 p.m. 
WHERE: 1500 Mississippi St., St. Paul, 55130  Map 
INTERVIEW:  Adam Scher, senior curator, Minnesota Historical Society. 
BACKGROUND:   Using methodologies consistent with those in use at the time the bridge was designed, it was shown that the gusset plates at the U10 and L11 nodes were only half as thick as necessary to meet their design requirements. The NTSB concluded that the gusset plate inadequacy was the result of an error by the original bridge design firm, which failed to perform all the calculations necessary to properly design the gusset plates. Other artifacts in the Society's collections associated with the collapse include bridge identification plates, mile marker and interstate highway signage, the emergency exit door from a school bus carrying 63 children when the bridge collapsed, a blood-stained shirt worn by an American Red Cross first responder, clothing and identification badges used by contractors during the re-building of the bridge, and a pin issued by MNDOT commemorating the 1-year anniversary of the collapse.