Minnesota bridge closed because of rusted gusset plates

| 6/5/2008

The Minnesota DOT closed the 67-year-old Highway 43 bridge at Winona this week after inspectors found a buckled plate and rust and corrosion on gusset plates.

The Associated Press reported that the two-lane bridge over the Mississippi is expected to remain closed for at least several weeks.

Gusset plates are the steel braces that hold a bridge’s support beams together. It’s believed that faulty gusset plates were to blame for the Interstate 35 bridge collapse in Minneapolis in August 2007 that killed 13 people.

In an ironic coincidence, the U.S. Postal Service issued a new postage stamp commemorating Minnesota’s 150th birthday two weeks ago. In the foreground of the picture on the stamp is the same Highway 43 bridge that was closed Tuesday.

Stamp dealer Dennis Abel told The AP that it is an “interesting coincidence” that will add interest to the new 42-cent stamp, “but not the value.”