URS Corp. reached an agreement with attorneys representing the individuals injured or killed in the I-35W bridge collapse to pay over $52 million. There is no admission of responsibility. The San Francisco-based URS Corp. had been sued by more than 100 people. They accused the company of missing warning signs on the bridge before its rush-hour collapse into the Mississippi River on Aug. 1, 2007. 13 people died and 145 were injured.
The lawsuits filed following the collapse alleged that the company was negligent in its services to the Minnesota Department of Transportation. In 2003, URS was retained to conduct a fatigue evaluation and a redundancy analysis of the 40-year-old bridge. The evaluation of the structural integrity of the bridge was intended to recommend ways to remediate any problems. URS, however, was not involved in the design or building of the bridge, nor was it involved in any of the later construction work, including the resurfacing work being done when the bridge collapsed.
In November 2008, the National Transportation Safety Board (NSTB) concluded the I-35W bridge collapse was caused by a design flaw, compounded by large weight increases from upgrade projects over the years, in addition to traffic and construction loads the day the bridge collapsed. The NSTB determined that the probable cause of the bridge collapse was inadequate load capacity, due to a design error involving the gusset plates in the structural steel.