Friday, September 19, 2008

Yes Misery Loves company and yes you may agree this is a Yee Ha Day!

Yee ha New Minneapolis bridge opens, 13 months after collapse

The new Interstate 35W bridge is open in Minneapolis, a little more than a year after the last one collapsed into the Mississippi River. A procession of vehicles led by state troopers, emergency vehicles and state highway trucks led motorists across the bridge in both directions shortly after 5 a.m. Thursday. Traffic was heavy as a mix of cars, motorcycles, trucks and buses started streaming across the bridge. Vehicles moved slowly at first, but then picked up speed. Many vehicles honked their horns as they drove across and a few motorists waved American flags. The old bridge collapsed on August 1, 2007, killing 13 people and injuring 145.
The new bridge contains hundreds of sensors that will collect a stream of data. The purpose of the "smart bridge" technology isn't to warn of another impending disaster; it's to detect small problems before they become big ones, said Alan Phipps, design manager for the project with Figg Engineering Group Inc. of Tallahassee, Florida.

"What these sensors are for, it's like going to your doctor for your health checkup," Phipps said. "It's to ensure you're maintained in top shape so you never get close to having a serious problem." The $234 million bridge was completed on budget and more than three months ahead of the December 24 deadline. That means the contractors -- led by the team of Flatiron Construction Corp. of Longmont, Colorado, and Manson Construction Co. of Seattle, Washington -- should get a bonus close to the contract maximum of $27 million, though the actual amount hasn't been determined. There also are more visible differences between the new bridge and old. The new bridge is concrete instead of steel and is built with redundant systems so that if one part fails, it won't collapse. The old bridge, finished in 1967, was called "fracture critical," which meant that a failure of any number of structural elements would bring down the entire bridge.

Within the concrete of the new bridge are embedded 323 sensors that will generate a record of how it handles the stresses and strains of traffic and Minnesota's harsh climate. The data will help engineers maintain the bridge and advance the art of bridge design, Phipps said. The sensors will measure how the bridge handles loads and vibrations and how it expands and contracts as Minnesota alternates between frigid winters and steamy summers. It will also watch for corrosion from road salt. See iReporter's photos of the bridge's inauguration

A system of sensors and cameras will feed data on traffic flow -- including speeds, accidents, stalls and other disruptions -- to a management center. Other sensors will activate an anti-icing system when necessary, and security sensors are meant to detect intruders in unauthorized areas, such as the hollow concrete box girders. The data will feed into computers in a control room near the bridge, Phipps said. From there, engineers at the Minnesota Department of Transportation and researchers at the University of Minnesota can download it for analysis. Catherine French, a civil engineering professor at the University of Minnesota, has worked with the developers of the system and will be among the researchers analyzing the data. The number of sensors on the bridge, and the fact that they were installed from the start, make this project stand out, she said.

"It is kind of on the cutting edge," French said. The main value will be the insight the system provides for building future bridges. Engineers will be able to compare the bridge's behavior to models they've developed, she said. The National Transportation Safety Board has scheduled a hearing in November to discuss its investigation into what caused the old bridge to collapse. In January, NTSB Chairman Mark Rosenker pointed to a design error in the plates that helped connect the bridge's steel beams as a "critical factor."The NTSB has also focused on the weight of construction materials that were on the bridge for a resurfacing project. New Minneapolis bridge opens, 13 months after collapse

Yee Ha Check out the SNL Fey Skit on Palin. Awesome isn't it?

Chevy Chase said Monday he wants Tina Fey to go "even harder" on Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin than she did in her "Saturday Night Live" skit this past weekend ... and that he wants Fey to "decimate" her. "I thought it was extraordinary how well she played her and much she looked like her. I'd just like her — personally I felt we didn't need the Hillary stuff — I'd like her to go even harder," the former "SNL" star told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" show. "I want her to decimate this woman. This woman is, I can't believe there hasn't been more about it. ... It's just unbelievable to me this woman is actually running for vice president," he continued. Chevy Chase rightly wants Palin Decimated!

Misery loves company! Russia ordered its main stock exchanges closed for another day Thursday as President Dmitry Medvedev called for pouring 500 billion rubles ($20 billion) into financial markets in an effort to stabilize them. The government is struggling to stem a dizzying plummet in share prices and restore confidence in the economy — a plummet that has revived memories of the 1998 financial collapse. "We have sufficient reserves and a strong economy, which guarantees the avoidance of any shocks," Medvedev said in televised comments.
"There is no more important task for Russian authorities than stability of our financial system under the current circumstances. This is our top priority," Medvedev said. "The market should be given all the necessary support." To that end, the government will pump in 500 billion rubles into the financial sector from the state budget, he said. The MICEX exchange, where the bulk of trading in Russian stocks takes place, is now at its lowest level in nearly three years in the wake of sliding oil prices and turmoil on Wall Street. Russia ordered its main stock exchanges closed for another day Thursday as President Dmitry Medvedev called for pouring 500 billion rubles ($20 billion) into financial markets in an effort to stabilize them. Russia Orders Markets Closed Until Friday After Big Drops

Well I guess that is one good thing about our financial woes! More Yee Ha for Democrats: What's up with this? Rove says McCain went too far in Ads!

Bush's strong economy now has the Goldilocks syndrome. It is now just strong enough!

And as you know, the guilty Guerrilla from Wasilla whose guilty hubby was subpoenaed Palin will no longer cooperate!

* First I will never understand how you can chose to cooperate or no? If that was you or I we would be instantly in jail but I am happy to say that Pollsters and the right are forgetting about Obama's ace in the hoe the millions of young voters he has gotten out. They only have cells and are therefore never polled. I think that will prove to be the game changer in the attempted theft of this election I absolutely expect. That and the tide seems to be turning against the childish lying idiots on the right YEE HA!

James Joiner
Gardner, Ma


Mariamariacuchita said...

Well, fixing one bridge may help, but what about the thousands of others that are falling apart? We can find the $ to bail out these companies, but that means we will be neglecting our infrastructure even more.

The Palin sketch was sheer genius. I think they have to try and be neutral and poke fun at both sides or they will lose their credibility. Angry or bitter humor does not score points with the other side or with independents, whom we really need to sway. Make them laugh by poking fun at both sides and they are more apt to see the point of the joke.

Although, personally, I would not object to an "Impale Plain" bumper sticker.

an average patriot said...

Hi Maria!
You know, last i hears Minnesota was figuring out how to pay for the Bridge and do it themselves because the Government was not coming through as usual! I never heard anything about it again including bragging from the Fed so I figure Minnesota did do it!

We could have fixed our failing infrastructure instead of the worthless rebates but it is purposely being allowed to fail. Bridges are just a small part of it sadly.
Boston's big dig debacle will go back to the sea eventually but anyway our tunnels, Highway superstructure ans rail system are going south too! They will never get repaired now because people cannot afford to drive too much so the money gained from the gas tax is dwindling!

I wrote about it when those worthless rebates were being handed out and back then it was estimated to cost $1 trillion to fix our infrastructure!
Anyway thank you for your input and willingness to talk reality! I too love that Palin skit and love your idea for an impale Palin sticker! After seeing that picture of her in her bikini with her rifle by the pool I call her the Guerrilla from Wasilla! Take care!

Weaseldog said...

Can you say Perestroika?

Lehman Brothers got a backdoor bailout.

Paulson and Benranke are working on a plan to use taxpayer funds to buy foreclosed properties at market prices to prop up home values.

We are hyperinflating our way to prosperity.

But think of all the money we'll have! I already have two wheel barrels to carry my money in, when I got the store for bread and milk!

Brother Tim said...

That is, without a doubt, the best work Tina Fey has ever done. I loved it. I'm with Chevy Chase; I think Fey should decimate her.

As for the Palin Bikini pic..... Sorry, it's an excellent Photoshop job. Here is the Before and After.

I'm not into hairy legs anyway.;)

an average patriot said...

Your funny! I have someone here getting me going. She likes what we say and agrees. Anywat Ron Paul says the Bail outs are unconstitutional.
I tried to find the video on it but couldn't. I will keep looking but I have yet to get through the news.
Anyway so far these bailouts cost us $800 Billion. We can add that to the $53 trillion we already owe. The auto Industry is next. Man, It is coming! Executive order #51 giving the scum total Dictatorial control!

Brother Tim said...

Hyperlink doesn't seem to work. Here's the link:

an average patriot said...

She nailed it and I love it! I just get more pissed off the more I think about that Neanderthal being in the White House! Now I heard her husband will not cooperate with the investigation either. WTF is that? We would be in jail. What the hell is that?
You are johnny on the spot. I was going to tell you that didn't work so let me check it out. I am laughing already!

an average patriot said...

I am actually disappointed! How did you find that out? You see that picture so much on the internet and that is the first time I heard that so thanks. I will point it out if I see the picture again!

Robert Rouse said...

Tina Fey nailed it! And she NAILED Palin at the same time. I originally thought that was a real Palin pic as well. Even posted it as being real. A day later someone corrected me and I issued a rebuttal. I've never been one to be afraid of admitting my mistakes - and I've made plenty.

an average patriot said...

Fey did nail Palin and I love it! I just wish for once a fool like her and Bush would realize it isn't friggen really funny it is true the truth is often said in jest!
I have fallen victim before not to pictures but phony stories. I didn't use that picture3 not because I knew it was phony but because it was everywhere already.

Robert I was busy most of the day working on getting a small loan for maybe another house and outside with someone doing some work for us on this one. Hopefully I will be back around tomorrow. Take care!