I-35w Ethical Problem

Topics: Ethics, Engineering, Professional Engineer Pages: 2 (878 words) Published: March 12, 2011
The ethical dilemma of this case is related to the fact that the bridge had a lot of flows but yet considered safe. To clarify, it received a rating of 4 on a scale from 0 to 9, it had fatigue carks and it was considered structurally deficient bridge. However, it was considered safe!!! The stunning thing, the really stunning thing, is that the Minnesota Officials was actually warned about the integrity of the bridge’s structural, but due to the limited budget, officials decided to take the risk and repair small patchwork instead of the massive repairs needed. In my opinion, it is just shameless. I understand the fact that they have limited budget, but since when limited budget gives the excuse to put people’s lives on risk? I strongly believe that there is no room for any excuse, no matter how good it was, when people’s lives are at stake. When I read about this incident, despite the fact that it happened long time ago, I just puzzled and a lot of ethical questions floating around my head. For example, based on what ethical standards Minnesota officials considered the bridge safe and ignored the fact that the bridge was not even closed to the safe state? , what gave Minnesota officials the right to take that action back then? , and based on what the engineers said that they believed they did what was needed to be done. It is well known among the engineers that success in design is foreseeing failure which means that engineers assume various modes of failure and then design to prevent those types of failures. Some of these modes of failure are exaggerated. i assumed that the design engineer of the I-35W bridge did that because it is one of the fundamental principle in the design stage, then how come he miscalculated the load and used metal part that are too weak for the job. As I mentioned earlier, some of the failure modes are exaggerated in the design stage in order for engineer to think outside the box. I believed due to the limited budget, that analysis was...
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