After Minneapolis tragedy, is Santa Clarita next?
On Wednesday afternoon, at rush hour, the Minneapolis Bridge snapped, broke into pieces, and plummeted into the Mississippi River, bringing many people down with it. Although the bridge had previously been cited as “deficient”, no construction was performed.
But, does it take a tragedy to realize a bridge is in desperate need of repair?
In 1971, the Sylmar Earthquake, which centered on Sand Canyon area, caused the interchange on the I-5 and the 14 freeway to collapse. Although it was rebuilt, the construction was done without being approved.
After 23 years of needing repair, it collapsed once again during the 1994 Northridge Earthquake.
Although many bridges have been named “deficient”, it takes a while before a bridge undergoes construction. This is due partly, because there are hundreds of bridges in L.A. alone that need construction.
That may change now, after LA County Supervisor Michael Antonovich called for inspections of all Los Angeles County bridges to ensure they are periodically inspected and analyzed.
He expressed his concerns about the county bridges and roads, and wants to ensure that what happened in Minneapolis, won’t happen in LA. “ Los Angeles County is earthquake territory and we must be vigilant to ensure that our motorways and bridges are safe for commuters.”
Antonovich has ordered Public Works to:
· Provide a description of the County's program for inspecting bridges in Los Angeles County
· Identify any special requirements for bridge construction due to the high levels of seismic activity in Southern California
· Determine whether there are any bridges that are at risk and may require modification and, if so, identify a work program and potential funding sources
·Determine if the County's existing procedures for bridge inspection are adequate or whether changes should be made
·Report back to the Board of Supervisors in 60 days.
There are more than 1,000 bridges in the LA County, and each one will be inspected.