Oberstar critical of NTSB finding

Rep. Jim Oberstar
U.S. Rep. Jim Oberstar, DFL-8th Dist., is criticizing after a leak says the NTSB has determined an original design flaw in the size of the gusset plates was respons8ible for the collapse of the I-35W bridge.
MPR Photo/Tim Pugmire

Rep. Jim Oberstar, DFL-8th Dist., is criticizing the National Transportation Safety Board after a published report said that investigators for the agency have determined an original design flaw is the likeliest reason for the collapse of the Interstate 35W bridge in Minneapolis.

Citing unnamed sources, the Star Tribune reports Sunday that investigators for the NTSB probe found that the bridge's original designers likely neglected to calculate the size of key gusset plates that eventually failed. Investigators also determined that corrosion of certain gusset plates, extreme heat and shifting piers did not contribute to the bridge's collapse, the newspaper reported.

The Star Tribune cited unnamed sources with direct knowledge of the probe.

Oberstar has been skeptical of earlier NTSB suggestions that gusset plate design was responsible for the bridge collapse, and on Sunday held to that view. He says it "stretches both credibility and past experience with bridge structural failure to find causation through a single factor."

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