Environment: Bridge of Sighs

One night in January 1975, the zinc-laden freighter Lake Illawarra plowed into the Tasman Bridge, killing twelve motorists and crewmen and severing the main link between Hobart, the capital of Australia's island state of Tasmania, and its eastern suburbs. Next morning, as some 30,000 suburbanites set out for work, they found that the former three-minute commute over the bridge had turned into a pilgrimage of an hour and a half at rush hours, requiring a detour of 33 miles.

A recent study sponsored by the Tasmanian police showed that the collapse of the bridge...

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