I-35 Bridge Collapse In Minneapolis Research Paper

Executive Summary

This report presents a thorough research on I-35 bridge collapse in Minneapolis in 2007. The 1,907-foot-long, eight-lane I-35W Highway Bridge that was constructed over the Mississippi River in Minneapolis, Minnesota, meet a disastrous breakdown in the core span of the deck truss. The major cost of the failure was the loss of lives of 13 people who died in the incident along with 145 people injured. The second major cost of failure was the inconvenience caused to the citizens and the third cost of failure to the economy was approximately half a billion dollars.

Since its opening in 1967 to the day of the collapse, the I-35W Bridge experienced three major renovation or modification projects. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) carried out a comprehensive investigation after the collapse and discovers the following safety issues in their investigation:

  • Unsatisfactory bridge design, poor quality control procedures for designing bridges, and inadequate Federal and State procedures for reviewing and approving bridge design plans and calculations.
  • Lack of guidance for bridge owners regarding the position of construction loads on bridges during maintenance or repair activities.
  • Lacks of inspection supervision for conditions of gusset plate bend.
  • Elimination of gusset plates in bridge load rating guidance.
  • Scarce utilization of technologies for correctly evaluating the condition of gusset plates on deck truss bridges.

Lastly, the report presents an extensive number of suggestions that it had implemented before could have prevented the failure.


Bridges of United States are facing some severe structural failures over the past years. According to expert engineers around 8000 bridges in the United States requires immediate remodeling to avoid future accidents or damages. 2007 marks a year when three main bridges collapse in the U.S. These were:

  • Harp Road Bridge in Greys Harbor County, WA
  • MacArthur Maze in Oakland, CA
  • I-35 collapse in Minneapolis, MN



Leave a Reply