For the poor souls lost in the Minnesota bridge collapse, I hope their loss of life will help get infrastructure maint. and replacement funding priorities a fresh look.
We, as a society love new things at the expense of the old. A prime example is tucked away in the northwest corner of Arizona. The Hoover Dam Bypass is a project that has become a complete boondoggle. There are renowned Civil Engineers saying a cast-in-place arch cannot be constructed at this site with the methods utilized. To date FHWA, ADOT and NDOT have done everything to prove it can't be built.....And yet the press gives them a free pass. Discovery Channel has hour long shows (failing to point out the cranes blew over in a 55 mph puff of wind)about what an amazing engineering monument the project is. How can a project schedule slip more than 3 years and still be within budget? Interesting fact: Had the initial construction of Hoover Dam started on the same day as the bridge project, the dam would have been completed this month. What other similar projects have used the same construction techniques successfully? NDOT used to say the Galena Creek Bridge near Carson City. Turns out they are filling the canyon with fill to build the bridge.
FHWA Project personnel have no business running a project of this magnitude. They're really good folks, but the only thing they've done professionally is designed hiking trails to porta potties in National Parks.
Back to the point, DOT's / FHWA like new Projects, such as Hoover Dam Bypass for $240 million to facilitate 17,000 cars a day( a tear in a salty sea by urban traffic standards) rather than $240 million refurbishing existing structures such as the Minnesota bridge, or the Loop 101 bridges with 100,000+ cars a day.