Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Bridges can collapse in Minnesota too

You just can't escape a local tragedy like this.

It's not, thankfully, every day that a major freeway bridge such as the Interstate 35W bridge spanning the Mississippi River in Minneapolis, MN collapses. A freak event that happens but shouldn't. A two year inconvenience before it is rebuilt and seven lives lost as I write this.

UPDATE: (1 of 2)

It seems that, contrary to Governor Tim Pawlenty's statement that the bridge was inspected in '05 & '06 with no structural deficiencies, the St. Anthony bridge on I-35W spanning the Mississippi River only mustered a 50% rating during a 2005 assessment. The report noted that areas of the bridge, particularly the trusses, should be inspected at 6-month intervals.

I am aware that it's impossible to have all the facts available in a time of crisis such as this but the facts are trickling out now and will inevitably lead to finger pointing. Let it be and let the people with knowledge sort out the details. This isn't a time to point fingers and place blame.

UPDATE: (2 of 2)

President Bush just held what was billed as a special press conference about the tragedy in Minneapolis. Below is an excerpt containing the second and third paragraph of his speech a full 14+ hours after the collapse.

To that end, Secretary Peters is in Minneapolis, as well as Federal Highway
Administrator Capka. I spoke to Governor Pawlenty and Mayor Rybak this morning. I told them that the Secretary would be there. I told them we would help with rescue efforts, but I also told them how much we are in prayer for those who
suffered. And I thank my fellow citizens for holding up those who are suffering
right now in prayer.

We also talked about -- in the Cabinet meeting talked about the status of important pieces of legislation before the Congress. We spent a fair amount of time talking about the fact that how disappointed we are that Congress hasn't sent any spending bills to my desk. By the end of this week, members are going to be leaving for their month-long August recess. And by the time they will return, there will be less than a month before the end of the fiscal year on September the 30th, and yet they haven't passed one of the 12 spending bills that they're required to pass. If Congress doesn't pass the spending bills by the end of the fiscal year, Cabinet Secretaries report that their departments may be unable to move forward with urgent priorities for our country.
He couldn't even be bothered to make a special speech and table his petty grievances for one damn day. I, along with plenty of others, tried not to politicize this tragedy but president Bush has managed to do so my not having the common decency to be sincere and table his agenda for one single day. Would it be too much to ask to wait 24 hours before you wrongly try to pin the blame on the party opposite yours? To turn a speech offering condolences to victims and families of victims into a platform for your agenda is cruel and shows how insensitive he truly is.

6 comments:

No said...

Glad you're okay...freaky, freaky freaky..I've been watching the news all night, and I still can't pinpoint this freakin' bridge..Give me some landmarks so I remember where the hell it is (or was).

Sornie said...

If I have my directions correct, it is north of the Dome near University Ave.

Sornie said...

Actually northeast...

Beth said...

If the facts as to the 2005 assessment turn out to be true, that's frightening.
This tragedy made the front page of our Toronto paper.
Glad you're okay.

No said...

Questions:

1. Is GWB bothering to make a trip out your way?

2. What route are people taking to work now?

3. I think I finally got my head out of my ass and figured out where the hell this damn bridge was...I used to cross it many, many times..It's the 4th St. Bridge right? There is an Amoco there and there used to be a Hardee's (I heard it was torn down)...this is the only freakin' way I remember things, and damn, those CNN guys no nothing of these area, and they can't tell me where the hell they are.

Sornie said...

280 (with all stoplights fixed at green and intersections closed) is the designated detour.