Yup, another incredible example of state/federal incompetence.
We're spending billions fighting an insane war and searching
databases for possible terrorists, while bridges are falling
down and killing people!
Well, I am guessing here, but one of the TV stations in twin cities
area put up some "before" photos that appeared to show MASSIVE corrosion
where the bridge support structure attached to a pier. I mean an
AMAZING hunk of orange rust-colored stuff that should have been
clearly visible a thousand feet away. I've never seen that much
rust on a major highway bridge before, only on abandoned railway
trestles and such. Now, the pic wasn't real clear, but I am fairly
sure what I was seeing there was SERIOUS corrosion damage.
Allowing a structure like that to deteriorate to such a level without
doing anything about it is criminal negligence!
I will wait for the investigators to prove me wrong, but I think they
may well see the same things when they start looking at it.
I guess I'm just the nerd type cause I've seen a lot of neglected
bridges. I've also taken many baths under bridges on road trips. The
worst that I saw was a bridge north of East Boston if memory serves.
It was stop and go traffic and the thick steel riveted columns where
rusted through both sides so that you could throw a foot ball through
the hole and into the salt water.
No comment on politics, and the bridge was a terrible tragedy,
but if we are going to discuss incompetence:
Alcohol is the leading cause of death for young people.
Automobiles is the #1 cause of accidental death.
I can suggest other laws that can save more lives.
On Thu, 02 Aug 2007 08:21:19 -0500, with neither quill nor qualm,
ANYTHING is more effective than passing more laws.
Larger fines and timeouts for stupidity (rear ending people, running
off the road, driving way too slowly, sideswiping things while on the
phone, reaching into the back seat to swat your monster kid while
driving, etc. are all handled under "negligent driving." That's a
All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian,
or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up
to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.
Rear ending isn't a good example. When some dimbo pulls out directly in
front of you one can only shed velocity at a rate governed by reaction time
I've had a few too many views of passenger side quarter panel followed by
rear bumper as I try to massage the boundary of Fc static and Fc sliding.
For some reason these idjits seem to scale my small car at night up to a
bigger vehical and think they have enough room to pull in front of me with
an empty road behind me.
An old friend of mine told a story about riding with his
mother-in-law. She pulled out in front of a vehicle and he
asked her "Didn't you see that guy coming?" To which she
curtly replied, "Oh, He's got brakes!".
Years later she died in a head on crash on a four lane
highway in a twisty area. I always wondered what really
happened/caused the accident...
Just pray your brakes keep working and you aren't glancing
around elsewhere when the next one pulls out.
With cell phones, mp3 players and other distractions that is a posibility. I
used to be an advid roadie bicyclist but the thought of how many people now
on the road are playing with their electronics makes we more likely to ride
a mtb on single track where it is safer.
Answering an earlier question, between Fife Lake and Kalkaska east of US131.
I rode for many years too. Anywhere from 120 to 40 miles per
week year round. I haven't been riding since last Nov, it
has been my longest break from the saddle in over 20 years.
Not so much scared of traffic as getting bored with it. I
increased my walking/running distances until I get the bug
again or knees/feet give out.
Worry about the road-rage drivers, pissed off that they have
to "pass" a bicyclist. I always hug the edge too, usually
within 6 inches, only taking more of the roadway when the
roadbed is unfit/safe to ride over. Those were the closest
calls I ever had, other than the dump truck pulling a
backhoe meeting a semi on a corner all while trying to pass
me. The trucks won, I ate dirt and can still tell the story
(shrug). Most of the time the truckers cut you more slack
than the four wheelers.
When I was taking a vacation in the UP ever year I used to
always make a pit-stop at the roadside park just north of
Fife Lake on US131. I'm a terrible coffee drinker and my
eyeballs were usually floating at that point :) That is a
nice area up there, but then the grass always looks greener
My neighbor has a cabin just east of Boyne Falls, a stones
throw off of C-48. Small world eh?
Since you are down in Grand Rapids, did you ever ride the National 24 HR
challenge? I've ridden it a few times. 115, 200+ a couple times and my
personal best of 253 or near that.
I've had a bottle thrown at me and I try to stay out of traffic, almost got
taken out by an oversize mobile home. Most profesional drivers are very
good, probably due to our zero tolerance litigious enviroment where no firm
wants a bad apple. It also could be because they take pride in their work.
I've ridden the Michigander many times along with the Dalmac. Michigan on a
bicycle is great.
That isn't good. I just looked down and there was a chipmonk inside the
house. Wonder what he chewed his way through? Note to wes, tour the
crawlspace this weekend. Load the .22 and air rifle and take no prisoners.
I think they fixed that up a bit. Since I live here, I've never used it of
That it is. I bumped into a guy the other day on practicalmachinist that is
in the same county and we have recently delt with the same gent in Ferndale.
I always loved to go to Cusino Lake near Melstrand to camp. Haven't made it
up there for a few years, backpacked with my dog Thor (rip) once. Maybe
next year I'll make it up there again.
Yes I am familiar with that race but I have never tried to
ride in it. I do look through the results compiled in the
local newspaper for it. Pretty amazing how far some people
can ride. I would be doing good and proud to get as far as
you did. The most I've ever rode in one day is ~80 miles.
The bike I normally ride has 2.25 inch wide road tires,
mountain frame, fenders, Scott ATB handle bars and a dirty
old cardboard box strapped to the rear rack for road
Ugh! Did you hit the Photon Cannon and take the wise cracker
out? Probably not, it is only a wish button on my bike too.
I know of/read about these. The Dalmac always sounded like a
good time and I envy you for having rode in it. I used to
bum around St Ignace on Labor Day weekend and you couldn't
help but see all of the Dalmac riders in town after they
crossed the bridge. I stayed at the Koa just west of the
bridge on US2. The best way into town on a bike was via
Portage Rd which went past the High School. Several times I
saw the shag vehicles for Dalmac staging there.
Some hardware cloth stapled over and/or stuffed into the
entrance hole works pretty well. Hopefully they have found
any of your HSS/carbide tooling and figured out how to use
it yet :)
I used to cruise on past that area on M28. I have a friend
over farther west in the Ontonagon area. I used to go
looking/exploring for water falls and old mining sites. Some
of the old mines are fascinating. Hard to believe today that
the area was just booming back in the mid to late 1800's
with copper/iron mining. There is a hunk of copper (float
copper) on display in Hancock now that I believe weighs 6000
lbs. It would have been neat to have seen the piece found at
the Minesota Mine that was alleged to have been 40 feet long
and 8 feet thick. It took them over a year to chisel it into
pieces that could be hauled out/away.
I kinda wonder if they might reopen some of the mines with a
bit newer technology, seeing the price of copper is so
high. Most of them still had copper, it just wasn't worth
We have too many laws on the books now.......
.....what we need is stronger enforcement of existing laws.......
.....along with one new law that provides for the removal of an existing,
archaic, non-enforcible law for every new law that is written into the
My heartfelt sympathies for the families of those persons injured or
killed in that horrible accident.
It's just over one year from the day that concrete ceiling panel in a
Boston "Big Dig" tunnel fell down and killed a woman passenger in a car
being driven by her husband. The latest "blame placing" is on the
conractors who used quick setting epoxy instead of "standard" stuff to
glue in the vertically placed anchor bolts holding the damn thing up.
The idiocy continues... Now it's unsecured storm drain covers on a major
highway here in Red Sox Nation. Several accidents involving them during
the past week and one poor guy still in critical condition because 250
pounds of steel got thrown up by the tires of a truck ahead of his car
and crashed through his windshield.
If I heard it correctly, work was being done on the road and trafic was
diverted to flow on only the right lane and the breakdown lane. The
storm drains were located on the breakdown lane, where traffic normally
doesn't travel over them at high speeds.
It's not like anyone would vote to spend the money on roads and
bridges. Not money on the old ones. Not before this hit the news,
anyway. When it's not the flavor of the week, the pressure will be off,
as far as upgrading or maintaining the rest will go, too.
No matter how the governments spend the tax bucks, it at least starts
doing laps through the economy.
That war is keeping a lot of money circulating, some (much, I suspect)
of which is paying wages for a pile of Americans that might otherwise be
doing without work.
Lots of people making the connection between the war in the sandboxes,
and where else the money "might" have been spent. I think, were it not
for the war, the money would have gone elswhere, rather than being
pounded into infrastructure. Infrastructure is not a "sexy" way to get
ones picture in the paper, or get re-elected, no matter where you are.
My sympathies go out to those injured, and to the families of those
lost in this wreck.
I think it is a small wonder that the numbers appear to be so small,
considering the time of day, and the traffic volume. Reports I see
online suggest that the toll may be in the area of 30 lives, once the
tally is done. I hope it to be less.
Hindsight is usually pretty clear. The infrastructure decline has been
happening steadilly for many years, under the watchful eye of political
parties of every stripe, and likely will decline further, as more people
are willing to pay less of their salary for what they believe to be a
right to have all these conveiniences.
I hope for everyones sake, that there are enough guys around, able to
inspect the thousands of "deficient" bridges out there, and that they
will make sound decisions.
It will be noteworthy, seeing what the findings of the investigation
are, and seeing if there really was anything that could reasonably been
done to forecast this tragedy or prevent it entirely. Reasonably, of
course, is going to be a closely debated line, isn't it.
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