Thursday, March 27, 2008

Oberstar Told, No Hearings on Bridge Collapse

Minnesota Congressman James Oberstar has been told there will be no public hearings into the 35W bridge collapse in Minneapolis. National Transportation Safety Board Director Mark Rosenker told the Minnesota Democrat and Chairman of the Transportation Committee, the decision not to hold the hearings was extremely difficult. Rosenker says he was concerned about losing control of the investigation. In a memo he said significant negotiations were required to keep the Minnesota Transportation Department and its technical consultants within the NTSB's investigation. He feared the delay caused by a public hearing would risk MNDOT and the feds from completing their own investigations without NTSB control or input. However, a vice chairman of the NTSB says failure to hold a public hearing would damage the board's credibility.

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