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21 Jun, 2010 11:43

President suspects theft in “dancing bridge” case

Dmitry Medvedev has launched a corruption probe into the construction of the “dancing bridge”. The structure made headlines in May, when it was closed due to terrifying vibrations shaking the road.

Dmitry Medvedev on Monday ordered an investigation into how the budget money allocated for the project had been spent. Earlier, the General Prosecutor’s House said they found “flaws” in the way federal and local executives did their jobs with the construction.

The bridge over the Volga River was opened a year-and-a-half ago, after 13 years of construction. On May 20, it started oscillating with amplitude of up to one meter and was closed for traffic. Videos of the terrifying “dancing bridge”, as it was dubbed, had been shown by major TV stations and circulated widely on the Internet.

Experts believe it to be result of so-called aeroelastic fluttering. The same phenomenon caused the collapse of the original Tacoma Narrows Bridge in the US in 1940.

The bridge in the Volgograd region was inspected for damage and opened to the public five days later. Local authorities said they will have civil engineers amend the project to prevent such incidents from happening in the future.