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Pawlenty faults those who ‘leapt to premature conclusions’ on cause of bridge collapse


Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who has been in Miami for the Republican Governors Association meeting, issued a statement about today’s report from the National Transportation Safety Board that blamed faulty gussets and extra weight for collapse of the I-35W bridge.

In his statement, he criticized those who “leapt to premature conclusions or attempted to use the bridge tragedy for political purposes.”

Here is the text of the statement:

Saint Paul – The following is a statement from Governor Tim Pawlenty regarding the National Transportation Safety Board’s (NTSB) public hearing on the I-35W Bridge collapse.

“The thoughts and prayers of Minnesotans continue to be with those who were injured and the families of those who lost their lives on that tragic day last August.

“NTSB investigators have determined that an original design flaw more than 40 years ago, not corrosion or cracking, led to the bridge’s collapse.  That original design flaw was unrelated to subsequent inspections or maintenance of the bridge

“Unfortunately, during the NTSB’s investigation some individuals leapt to premature conclusions or attempted to use the bridge tragedy for political purposes.  Today’s findings underscore why it was important to withhold judgment until the investigation was complete.

“Since the collapse, inspectors have examined every state highway bridge in Minnesota.  We have upgraded bridge inspection policies and closed or restricted bridges where problems were found.  Ensuring the public’s safety is MnDOT’s top priority.”