Weather-related erosion and road chemicals are being cited as the primary causes for a chunk of concrete – that weighed more than a half ton – failing from an overpass above Interstate 35 in St. Paul this weekend.
No one was injured, but the falling concrete from the Maryland Avenue overpass hit two vehicles and closed the interstate for more than eight hours on Saturday, July 26. According to reports from the Minneapolis Star-Tribune and The Associated Press, the chunk of overpass was about 6 feet by 9 feet and was about an inch thick, and weighed about 1,200 pounds.
The 50-year-old Maryland Avenue overpass was last inspected on Aug. 15, 2007, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation. That inspection was just two weeks after the collapse of the Interstate 35 bridge that killed 13 people on Aug. 1, 2007.
The 50-year-old overpass was remodeled in 1973 and has since been put on the state’s list of “structurally deficient” bridges. A thorough inspection of the overpass is scheduled this week.