Sunday, September 2, 2007

back to the bridge

yesterday, September 1st, a month after the collapse of the I-35W bridge here in Minneapolis, i went over to the site again, about eight blocks from our house, because the parallel bridge is now finally open again to traffic and pedestrians can now get a look down at the ruins in the river. it turned out that many people were there with me, taking photos, being somber -- people maybe on their way to the State Fair or returning students to the University of Minnesota, which is literally next door to the collapsed bridge.

it has been interesting to see how people locally have responded to the tragedy. numerous neighborhood meetings have been held to discuss how the bridge should be re-built or if it should even be re-built. the anti-tax people are out in force (of course), the environmentalists and mass-transit proponents have input, the neighborhoods bearing the brunt of the re-routed traffic patterns are concerned about how long this will all take. it sounds like the government, despite all the local feedback, has the new bridge already planned. i hope it's done right, and i hope something is being done about the thousands of other bridges in the U.S. that were getting the same negative (or worse) engineering ratings as this former bridge.

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