The Mianus River bridge was "wailing" in grim warning of the collapse that killed three poeple and crippled the Connecticut Turnpike, a federal inspector testified.

The 100-foot section of bridge collapsed about 1:30 a.m. on June 28.

"This span chirped; it made "EEEE" noises, and, in a way, it was wailing to alert us to its condition," said Henry H. Wakeland, an inspector for the National Transportation Safety Board.

He told the board's second day of hearings into the June 28 collapse that the odd noises reported by people residing near the Greenwich bridge were caused by improperly aligned metal finger joints on the bridge deck, producing a metal-on-metal condition.

The finger joints should not have been touching, he said.

Wakeland attributed the improper alignment problem to a sideways shifting of the deck, which "indicated problems with the pin and hangers below."

Another witness, Michael J. O'Rourke, a private engineer hired by the Cigna Corp., said his inspection after the collapse indicated corrosion problems could have begun as early as three years after the bridge was built in the mid-1950's.

O'Rourke said the combinatiion of rust and ice led to the failure of the pin-and-hanger assembly.