NTSB Chair tells Oberstar no public hearing

Bridge deck
A collapsed portion of the I-35W bridge deck.
National Transportation Safety Board

Earlier this month Congressman Jim Oberstar, DFL-Minn., who chairs the House Transportation Committee, demanded the NTSB reconsider its decision not to hold a public hearing on the bridge collapse.

Oberstar argued that the decision could damage the board's reputation as impartial and kept the public out of an important public issue involving the country's bridges.

Today Chairman Rosenker wrote to Oberstar. In a three page letter he wrote that the board would not reconsider the decision. Rosenker said the decision-making process was thorough and fair. Staff and opposing board members did not feel the need to hold another vote.

Rosenker also said that a public hearing is not a town hall meeting.

He said it was more important to get this investigation done quickly and distribute information about their findings to other states than it was to hold an interim meeting.

The NTSB spent the day investigating Minneosta's Highway 23 bridge in St. Cloud.

Rosenker said the buckling found on that bridge proved that speed was the critical factor in this investigation.

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