Posted: 05/01/12 07:53
by Dave Mindeman
OK - let's put everything else on hold. Governor Dayton is supposed to have a meeting with the CEO of URS. That's URS - the inspector of the I-35 bridge....the one that collapsed. And also the designer of the Sabo Bridge that recently had support cables fail. Yes, this is the company that has the audacity to send its CEO in to "lobby" our governor for more contracts.
They sent a letter to explain their position....
In a letter to the Governor on Friday, a top URS official in Minnesota said that company employees in Minnesota ?grieved for the loss of our fellow citizens when the bridge fell ? it was a tragedy that deeply affected our community and its impacts are still felt today. ?However, we, URS, did not design or build the I-35W bridge, nor were we involved in any of the construction work, including the resurfacing being done when the bridge collapsed,? said Tom Bader, vice president and Minneapolis office manager for URS.
No... URS did not design the bridge. No.. URS did not do any of the construction work.
But they did do a complete inspection of that bridge.
Memos came forward during the civil suit...
Despite URS photographs from 2003 of "bowed gusset plates, an engineering red flag," the firm declined to thoroughly analyze the plates, claiming it was "too much work," the memo said.
One key to the plaintiffs' case for punitive damages may be the comments of retired MnDOT engineer Don Flemming, who worked for URS at the time of the collapse. Flemming told his boss on Sept. 1, 2006, that he was concerned URS project engineer Ed Zhou was "trying a little too hard" to tell MnDOT the bridge was safe when "it is clearly overstressed by design standards."
and faulty analysis....
URS chose a range of 75 degrees Fahrenheit, while the code required a 150-degree range, the memo said. "Because use of such a limited temperature range did not accurately reflect stresses on the coldest and hottest days in Minneapolis, URS' choice was not safe," the memo said.
The firm overstated the strength of the bridge and told the state the gussets were in "good condition," the document said.
And yes, you read it right....Don Flemming was a former MnDOT engineer that was working for URS at the time. Doug Differt was a deputy commissioner at MnDOT....he went to work for URS.
So now, URS is sending its CEO to convince Governor Dayton that URS, with this deeply suspicious background in Minnesota, should be given the opportunity to do more construction work in this state.
Save the corporate jet money, Mr. Martin Koffel, CEO. Stay home.