Thursday, August 02, 2007

Minneapolis Bridge Collapse Tragedy

During the bumper-to-bumper evening rush hour on Wednesday, August 1, 2007, the 8 lane I-35W Bridge in Minneapolis spanning the Mississippi River collapsed, crushing cars and sending countless vehicles and people plummeting into the water. This horrible tragedy is one that has left the entire area and nation shaken with disbelief, paralyzed with the images of twisted steel, crushed concrete and vehicles submerged in the water. Terrorist activity has all been ruled out, but the impact of the catastrophe is no less painful then if someone purposely attacked the bridge; an unknown number of people are dead, many hurt, and a major road and shipping channel closed causing economic impact that this area has never experienced.

Minneapolis is a “small big city,” even with nearly 3 million people in the Twin Cities metro, it is a lot like Cheers; everybody knows your name. Unlike most of the United States experiencing increased transience of their residents as they move for other pastures, Minnesota remains a place where people continue to embrace neighborhood, friends and family. I often tease my husband and other friends that Minnesota ranks only second to Hawaii as the least migratory state; Over 90% of the people who are born here live their entire lives in the state. But this dedication to the state gives the people of the Twin Cities much of the same strength, fortitude, spirit, camaraderie and determination shown after the September attacks that made me very proud to be a New Yorker. Although the first reaction is always, “this kind of stuff doesn’t happen here,” it has happened here, and the people here will band together to get through this horrible time.


Kira said...

Hey Chelle,
Was thinking of you today when I saw the news. I'm glad you and Wade are okay, and I hope all of your friends and family out there are as well.

Steve said...

My wife called me on Thursday night, and said 'have you heard about the bridge'-"No, what are you talking about?"
-'Turn the TV on'.
I turned it on. My wife continued " I was ALMOST on that bridge...I only missed it because we had a computer glitch at work, and It kept from leaving on time, I take that bridge all of the time to go to the one funeral home in Northeast Minneapolis". She was REALLY shaken by this experience. A couple of guys on my rugby team were also about a 1/4 mile away when it went down.

Explosive Bombchelle said...

Some stats from ABC News:
26.2 percent of the nation's bridges are in need of repair or do not meet the highest safety standards.

Minnesota's bridges are actually among the safest; 12.2 percent of the state's bridges are rated "structurally deficient" or "functionally obsolete," ranking it third best behind Arizona (10 percent) and Nevada (12 percent.

Washington, D.C., has the country's least safe bridges, with 63 percent of the district's 245 bridges rated either structurally deficient or functionally obsolete. (guess I'm never gonna get the husband to move to DC now...)