Pawlenty calls for 23 bridges to be reexamined

Gov. Tim Pawlenty has directed the Minnesota Department of Transportation to recalculate the load capacity for 23 trunk highway bridges with designs similar to the collapsed I-35W bridge.

The move followed today's announcement from federal investigators that the failed Minneapolis I-35W bridge had a serious design flaw.

The National Transportation Safety Board has still not ruled on a cause for the August 1, 2007, collapse, and Gov. Pawlenty cautioned the public and his political adversaries to reserve judgement.

During a State Capitol news conference, Gov. Pawlenty said MnDOT began adjusting load limits months ago on seven of the similar bridges.

"There's now going forward with the remaining 16 bridges within that group of 23. In addition, there are 36 local bridges who have same or similar design issues beyond the state system, and MnDOT will be working with our local partners to make sure the load capacity of those bridges are recalculated as well," says Gov. Pawlenty.

Pawlenty says the NTSB investigation now "appears headed in a direction different than many of the political claims that have been made." He says links made between his policies and the bridge collapse were unfair.

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