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Bay Area bridge collapse offers lessons
Associated Press ^ | 1 hour, 20 minutes ago | SCOTT LINDLAW,

Posted on 05/01/2007 5:57:23 AM PDT by BenLurkin

SAN FRANCISCO - The experts paid to worry about disasters and terrorism have for years warned of collapsing highway bridges and exploding tanker trucks. They just never foresaw one event that would encompass both. Nonsense

Local, state and federal government officials have "war gamed" a failed San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge again and again, most recently in November, when a statewide exercise envisioned a 7.9-magnitude earthquake bringing down part of the span.

The drills proved useful in responding to Sunday's wreck in which a tanker truck struck a guardrail, overturned and burst into flames, taking down a critical overpass. To some officials, the accident produced a best-case outcome, yielding potentially valuable lessons at little human cost.

"It's almost your perfect tabletop exercise — real pristine, clean, and nobody got hurt," California Highway Patrol Officer Mike Wright said.

The snarled highways envisioned for the region didn't materialize Monday, as many commuters seized on free public transportation, avoided rush hour or just stayed home.

While crews sifted through the wreckage, outside experts did their own analysis. In one line of inquiry that could improve future responses, some scientists were studying linkages between the freeway collapse and how the World Trade Center came down on Sept. 11, 2001.

The structural failures appear similar, said David McCallen, division leader in nonproliferation, homeland and international security at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

The steel supporting the overpass turned pliable after the gasoline-fed fire below reached temperatures up to 2,000 degrees — more than four times as hot as the hottest conventional home oven.

The big difference between a blast and a fire is the fire takes time, "which gives you the potential or the option of responding," McCallen said. In this case, it makes sense to look at better ways to douse fuel-based fires, McCallen said.

Hard lessons gleaned from other past disasters also were being applied as engineers prepared for reconstruction. The downed overpass, a vital artery linking San Francisco and its eastern suburbs, carries some 80,000 vehicles a day. Inspectors X-rayed about a dozen pillars supporting the ramp near the collapsed section to see if they could be salvaged.

Originally built in the 1950s, the collapsed roadway was retrofitted to withstand earthquake damage in the late 1990s. But rather than rebuild the ramp according to already existing blueprints, engineers will likely overhaul the interchange to conform to today's more stringent seismic standards, California Department of Transportation spokesman Jeff Weiss said.

"Whenever you can start from scratch, you do so," Weiss said.

The incident and its aftermath also raised new questions about those behind the wheel of big trucks, such as the man hauling 8,600 gallons of unleaded gasoline during the crash.

While the government screens the thousands of truck drivers who haul hazardous materials around the country — most recently requiring that they undergo FBI and intelligence background checks — it was unclear whether the system worked in the case of tanker driver James Mosqueda.

Court records show that Mosqueda had a criminal record that included convictions for heroin possession and burglary. Yet apparently all the paperwork for him to get his trucking license was in order, the California Highway Patrol said.

An initial investigation revealed that the truck may have been speeding, but drugs and alcohol were not suspected as factors in the crash, CHP Officer Trent Cross said.

Mosqueda had recently renewed his commercial driver's license and his driving record was free of any crashes or violations before Sunday, according to the California Department of Motor Vehicles.

City officials quickly called for a policy review Monday. "Someone with that record has no business driving hazardous materials on our highways," state Assemblyman Pedro Nava said.

Transportation Security Administration rules require a five-year waiting period after a convict is released from prison until he or she can qualify to haul hazardous materials. Since Mosqueda was released in 2001, he became eligible in 2006. However, under TSA rules, multiple felony convictions can also permanently disqualify many drivers.

After the crash, Mosqueda, 51, wandered more than a mile through darkened streets in Oakland with second-degree burns to a gas station and hailed a cab to take him to the emergency room, according to police and the taxi driver.

Mosqueda had been a driver for his current employer, Sabek Transportation, for about 10 months when the crash occurred, said CHP Officer Trent Cross.

Several calls to Sabek by The Associated Press were either hung up on or forwarded to a voicemail box for Tom Saberi, who has previously been listed as an attorney for the company. Saberi did not return any messages.


TOPICS: War on Terror
KEYWORDS: baybridge
"They just never foresaw one event that would encompass both."

Nonsense!

1 posted on 05/01/2007 5:57:24 AM PDT by BenLurkin
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To: BenLurkin

Lesson One: Fire melts steel.

(Got that, Rosie?)


2 posted on 05/01/2007 6:01:43 AM PDT by PBRSTREETGANG
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To: BenLurkin

March 2004: There was a bridge collapse very similar on I-95 in Connecticut. Tanker truck, fire, bridge collapse.

http://www.urbanplanet.org/forums/lofiversion/index.php/t3161.html


3 posted on 05/01/2007 6:08:25 AM PDT by Betis70 (GO SHARKS)
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To: BenLurkin

The US needs stricter laws concerning CDL drivers and Hazmat endorsements. I have a CDL and over 10 years i have hired many drivers, offhand about 1/4th have some criminal history or drug problems.

But more importantly its newly arrived foreigners wanting to drive tankers, school busses and long haul rigs. There was recent news even of a tour bus operation that was a front for drug smuggling, anything in commercial vehicles is an opening for illegal activities more so now than years past.

Not a jetliner but a single truck practically shut down or at least bottlenecked millions, who is to say they are not or could be herded into another area just for a preplanned attack? like detonatong a device on Bart under the bay?

Any incident like this becomes another page of a terrorists teaching manual.


4 posted on 05/01/2007 6:08:50 AM PDT by Eye of Unk
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To: BenLurkin

in 1994 here on Long Island (NY), a doctor, who use to like to drive the HOV lane alone but with his large dog in the passenger seat, saw a cop up ahead and cut across several lanes to get out of the carpool lane. he drove right into a gasoline tanker which burst into flames under the overpass for the Sagtikos parkway. the doctor and dog died. the tanker driver got out in time. the overpass was so warped as to have to be condemned and rebuilt. the north bound overpass (separate) was divided for a short time for both directions untill an temporary span could be erected. It took a good 9 months or more before the section of span was completely rebuilt.


5 posted on 05/01/2007 6:09:58 AM PDT by Vaquero (" an armed society is a polite society" Heinlein "MOLON LABE!" Leonidas of Sparta)
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To: BenLurkin
They just never foresaw one event that would encompass both.

Sounds like it's time to find some new experts.
6 posted on 05/01/2007 6:10:15 AM PDT by P-40 (Al Qaeda was working in Iraq. They were just undocumented.)
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To: BenLurkin
Fire softens steel!? Apparently it can weaken it to the point of failure!!!

Well, I'm sure this is going to come as a huge surprise to one of our celebrity structural engineers, Ms. Rosie O'Donnell.

7 posted on 05/01/2007 6:11:31 AM PDT by John Valentine
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To: PBRSTREETGANG
“Lesson One: Fire melts steel.

(Got that, Rosie?)”

The timing is suspicious. Just when when the Rosies of the world are talking up the fire can’t melt steel idea; what happens?

Has to be a Haliburton, Bush/Cheney, Reagan/Bush, Republican capitalist plot to throw the attention away from their 911 plot.

(For you liberals out there, what I just wrote was kooky satire, but many of your type actually believe stuff like that)

8 posted on 05/01/2007 6:14:17 AM PDT by HereInTheHeartland (Never bring a knife to a gun fight, or a Democrat to do serious work...)
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To: PBRSTREETGANG
This exact same scenario has happened elsewhere, and caused overpasses to collapse. If you told me you have a fuel truck burning under an overpass, I’d tell you to start buying cement. I don’t know if the locals held exercises for this or not, frankly, it’s not that big a deal. Your biggest problem, as far as response a recovery if the fire or explosion hazard (which firefighters can deal with), followed by traffic impact of the loss of road (which the article said they had practiced and planned for). Big mess, it’s going to cost a lot to replace everything. Traffic is going to be a real nightmare for a while (until they figure out how to reroute everyone, they don’t need to wait for the road to be rebuilt). This kind of thing happens every now and then.
9 posted on 05/01/2007 6:15:07 AM PDT by NYFriend
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To: Betis70
There was a bridge collapse very similar on I-95 in Connecticut

Of course here in Connectcut, we have bridges that just fall apart all by themselves - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mianus_River_Bridge

10 posted on 05/01/2007 6:20:13 AM PDT by KosmicKitty (WARNING: Hormonally crazed woman ahead!!)
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To: HereInTheHeartland
Rosie would say the bridge collapse was a controlled-demolition... and that the tanker fire was just a diversion.
11 posted on 05/01/2007 6:26:02 AM PDT by johnny7 ("Issue in Doubt." -Col. David Monroe Shoup, USMC 1943)
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To: PBRSTREETGANG
Lesson One: Fire melts steel.

No she-ite.....I wonder why we've not heard Rosie 'O Blob comment about this????

12 posted on 05/01/2007 6:30:52 AM PDT by Thermalseeker (Just the facts, ma'am)
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To: BenLurkin
Nice to see the various security bureaucracies haven’t stock piled repair steel. So, a half a billion dollars is wasted in commuter labor time, each week. Maybe we should pay more taxes for these cann’t think out the box idiot experts. Of course it is kind of a self selection problem. What kind of people are attracted to, and find satisfaction, in slow, boring, dull, constant make work paper shuffling bureaucracies? What kind of people like being employed and working with dolts for decades?
13 posted on 05/01/2007 6:32:44 AM PDT by Leisler
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To: BenLurkin

I’m going from memory here, but in the 1970’s when I was growing up in the Detroit Metro area, there was a rash of tanker fires on Detroit’s expressways. In Detroit, the expressways are built in a series of concrete lined trenches instead of being elevated.

Finally Detroit banned all hazardous cargo from those stretches of expressway because of all the expensive damage to the concrete retaining walls and overpasses.


14 posted on 05/01/2007 6:34:28 AM PDT by Yo-Yo (USAF, TAC, 12th AF, 366 TFW, 366 MG, 366 CRS, Mtn Home AFB, 1978-81)
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To: johnny7
Just imagine Al Gore screaming about global warming.”8600 gallons of unleaded fuel,pollution and high temperature. We are domed” :-)))
15 posted on 05/01/2007 6:35:45 AM PDT by QQQQ
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To: QQQQ
We are domed” :-)))

I'm stuned...

16 posted on 05/01/2007 6:42:18 AM PDT by johnny7 ("Issue in Doubt." -Col. David Monroe Shoup, USMC 1943)
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To: Betis70

Same on Rt 95 in Philly a few years back.


17 posted on 05/01/2007 6:44:03 AM PDT by cinives (On some planets what I do is considered normal.)
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To: BenLurkin

Wandered a mile through darkened streets of Oakland, and lived! That, in itself, is amazing.


18 posted on 05/01/2007 8:17:45 AM PDT by toomuchcoffee
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To: BenLurkin

“After the crash, Mosqueda, 51, wandered more than a mile through darkened streets in Oakland with second-degree burns to a gas station and hailed a cab to take him to the emergency room, according to police and the taxi driver.”

Does anyone think this sounds strange? If I was the driver I would have waited for EMS. Why would you leave the scene...unless he was in shock? Does this all seem rather odd?


19 posted on 05/01/2007 8:20:31 AM PDT by mr_hammer (Show me just what liberalism brought that was new, and there you will find things evil & inhuman)
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To: BenLurkin
The steel supporting the overpass turned pliable after the gasoline-fed fire below reached temperatures up to 2,000 degrees — more than four times as hot as the hottest conventional home oven.

Idiot AP science!

They don’t use units, and this comparison is meaningless. (unless perhaps if converted to degrees Kelvin.)

Just say “by comparison, the average home oven has a maximum temperature of 550F.” Or, “which is really, really hot.” Or, “steel melts at xxx F”?

20 posted on 05/01/2007 8:47:56 AM PDT by Atlas Sneezed (Your FRiendly FReeper Patent Attorney)
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To: Beelzebubba
Little Green Footballs has the best Truther take on "429"

I recall a 911 conspiracy blog saying of course it melted, it's aspault.

21 posted on 05/01/2007 8:52:56 AM PDT by McCloud-Strife (John McCain: great American, poor Senator, Horrible Republican)
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To: KosmicKitty

Yeah I remember the Mianus River collapse.

And the Civic Center roof caving in.


22 posted on 05/01/2007 10:44:56 AM PDT by Betis70 (GO SHARKS)
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To: Betis70

People, you gotta see some of the comments here:

http://911blogger.com/node/8200

Rosie O’Fat would be shaking her head at the stupidity of some of these comments.


23 posted on 05/01/2007 10:50:17 AM PDT by OCCASparky (Steely-Eyed Killer of the Deep)
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To: HereInTheHeartland
The timing is suspicious.


ROVE!!!

24 posted on 05/01/2007 10:53:30 AM PDT by 1rudeboy
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To: 1rudeboy

We need the picture of Rove at the controls of the world weather machine...


25 posted on 05/01/2007 11:16:04 AM PDT by HereInTheHeartland (Never bring a knife to a gun fight, or a Democrat to do serious work...)
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To: Eye of Unk

The Democrats weakened those DHS laws....they want to give illegals drivers licenses for crying out loud.

The Dems reaped what they sowed on this one.


26 posted on 05/01/2007 11:20:32 AM PDT by BurbankKarl
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To: Betis70

There was also a Bridge on Route 80 in Denville NJ that was damaged by a tanker fire on June 21,2001. That particular bridge had concrete beams and it STILL was weakened to the point it was unsafe and had to be replaced.

http://www.nycroads.com/roads/I-80_NJ/ (bout half way down the page)


27 posted on 05/01/2007 11:49:54 AM PDT by Malsua
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To: johnny7
When asked for his reaction to the incident, Charlie Sheen had the following to say:

"Call me insane, but didn't that overpass look like it was brought down in a controlled implosion?"

28 posted on 05/01/2007 12:09:16 PM PDT by Sicon
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To: BenLurkin

Full tanker trucks do not explode; they burst into flame upon rupture and contact with an ignition source, then burn until smothered or the fuel is exhausted.


29 posted on 05/01/2007 12:20:42 PM PDT by Old Professer (The critic writes with rapier pen, dips it twice, and writes again.)
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To: Sicon

LOL... Charlie Sheen(and his assclown father) are UNCONTROLLED implosions.


30 posted on 05/01/2007 12:22:36 PM PDT by johnny7 ("Issue in Doubt." -Col. David Monroe Shoup, USMC 1943)
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To: PBRSTREETGANG

Rosie isnt the only one touting that “Fire doesn’t melt steel”. She might have brought that to the media’s attention, but there are idiots out there screaming about it for the last few years now.


31 posted on 05/01/2007 12:26:34 PM PDT by Rick.Donaldson (http://realitycheck.blogsome.com - and yes, yes, I'm a "FredHead". Fred Thompson for Prez.)
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To: BenLurkin

A lot of the anti-gun people would like the sheeple to think that it is harder to get a drivers license or a car than a gun.

Of course this is nonsense. If gun rules applied, this clown would never have gotten a driver’s license, much less a commercial truck license.


32 posted on 05/01/2007 12:29:10 PM PDT by TC Rider (The United States Constitution ? 1791. All Rights Reserved.)
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To: mr_hammer
After the crash, Mosqueda, 51, wandered more than a mile through darkened streets in Oakland with second-degree burns to a gas station and hailed a cab to take him to the emergency room, according to police and the taxi driver.

That's the sort of thing people do when they want to avoid a sobriety test. Leaving the scene is a far lesser penalty.

33 posted on 05/01/2007 7:01:54 PM PDT by Moonman62 (The issue of whether cheap labor makes America great should have been settled by the Civil War.)
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To: johnny7

LOL! You’re sily.


34 posted on 05/01/2007 9:11:55 PM PDT by littlehouse36
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To: OCCASparky
Sounds like the semi-literate ramblings of the “Tin Foil Hat” contingent. The village idiots on parade.
35 posted on 05/03/2007 11:28:42 AM PDT by Rumplemeyer
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To: HereInTheHeartland
"Has to be a Haliburton, Bush/Cheney, Reagan/Bush, Republican capitalist plot to throw the attention away from their 911 plot."

...and to keep the price of gasoline up, too. You forgot that aspect of the cabal.

36 posted on 05/03/2007 11:33:00 AM PDT by Joe 6-pack
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To: sionnsar; VRWCmember; McCloud-Strife

Yeah - Take good pictures, that “liquid metal” is going to evaporate soon.

“Diagonal cuts” ??? (The bridge deck is sloped!)

Funny..... If it weren’t so sad.


37 posted on 05/03/2007 11:36:11 AM PDT by Robert A. Cook, PE (I can only donate monthly, but Hillary's ABBCNNBCBS continue to lie every day!)
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To: Joe 6-pack

Has anyone thought of spontaneous combustion? With that many liberals living in the Bay area all that hot air.


38 posted on 05/03/2007 11:59:43 AM PDT by mimaw
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