The collapse of the I-35W bridge in Minneapolis led immediately to calls for increased gas taxes for infrastructure repair. The fact that at least 20 percent of such increases would be likely to be spent on transit, and who knows how much more would be up for grabs by Congressional earmarkers, was carefully kept quiet.
Now it appears likely that the collapse was not due to inadequate maintenance. Instead, it was a design flaw. According to a Federal Highway Administration report, the bridge probably collapsed when one or more gusset plates failed. (See also this press release.)
Gusset plates hold bridge joints together, but they are susceptible to corrosion. If the bridge collapsed due to such corrosion, then improved infrastructure maintenance might have prevented the collapse.
But the new report found no evidence that cracking, corrosion, or other wear led to the collapse. Instead, 16 of the key gussets were too thin to support the anticipated loads. In short, someone goofed when designing or building the bridge.
No amount of maintenance could have solved the problem because, once in place, no one would have been able to determine that the gussets were too thin. So there goes the case for raising gas taxes (and pork-barrel spending).