The only issue is, once government officials were aware of the dangers, they had to close the system, or face tremendous liability costs if an incident occurred. That was the case in the late 1980s when the Thomas Johnson bridge in Southern Maryland was unexpectedly closed for emergency repairs, and it is the case with the Metro. The big difference is then-Gov. William Donald Schaefer convened a meeting of local officials and businesses — the night the bridge was closed — to develop and implement ways to minimize the inconvenience to commuters. Those plans were in operation the next morning.