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Your statement is depressingly true. I see this as trend where the builder is not the owner so costs are cut that an owner would never agree to. You see this in modern buildings all the time. It also might be that older structures like the Brooklyn Bridge are in-effect self insured. No one is going to get paid when it falls down, so it doesn't fall down.

The Bridge started carrying train traffic 6 years after it opened so I am not sure today's loads are any lighter.

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