06/26/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

60 Minutes: Bay Bridge Future Examined, Other Bridges At Risk

With the world's recent seismic activity serving to remind California that it is indeed a "seismic timebomb", 60 Minutes last night ran a feature on the race to rebuild the Bay Bridge, San Francisco's most vital and vulnerable lifeline.

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Sunday's LA Times featured an editorial by Lewis Macadams and Alex Ward on Los Angeles' crumbling 6th Street bridge, which has been given a 70% chance of failure in a major seismic event. The duo call for an international design competition to give the city a landmark as iconic as the Golden Gate or Brooklyn Bridge.:

All over the Earth, bridges are important symbols of their metropolises. Everyone knows the Rialto Bridge in Venice, the Brooklyn Bridge and the Golden Gate. Bridges rightfully come to symbolize a city's aspirations, its hopes and dreams...

Ours is an age of magnificent new bridges. In the past decade a new era of artistry and technical mastery has yielded a new generation of brilliant structures. The next time you're trolling the Internet, check out Ben van Berkel's Erasmus Bridge in Rotterdam, Christian Menn's Bunker Hill Bridge over the Charles River in Boston and Santiago Calatrava's Sundial Bridge that spans the Sacramento River, the newest tourist attraction in Redding. Look at L.A.-based Buro Happold's Mobius Bridge in Bristol, in Britain. All are different, all are amazing. The specific style of the replacement bridge is less important than assuring that the design be unique, appropriate and iconic.

To promote the highest level of design, Los Angeles should hold an international design competition juried by bridge design experts with strong local participation.