Thursday, August 02, 2007

Minneapolis becomes center of attention

Maybe it's because from the moment it happened, we were barraged with coverage. Maybe because it is so damn surreal because it's a bridge I've personally crossed countless times. Whatever the case, the magnitude of an 8-lane bridge collapsing seems bizarre to say the least. I was blown away by the screen capture above because I can't remember the last time a news story featured on the Google News front page has numbered over 3,000 news articles. This is unreal to me. Hell, I'm just a small town farm boy who lives here and works here in the Twin Cities. Minnesotans are humble by nature. Maybe it has something to do with living in the rather low-key midwest.

It seems odd to see what has been known as flyover country for so long being the center of all of the national media attention. It's odd to walk past a TV tuned to CNN and see them featuring live and archived footage from the TV stations I watch on an almost daily basis. It's even more odd that the big three networks will broadcast their national nightly news from Minneapolis as well. The rest of the local media, though, has been intense in their coverage (for the most part, exceptions being the Citadel-owned radio stations KQRS, 93X and Love 105) but strangely calming and soothing. Music-based radio stations have become less "wacky and zany" for the time being and are just more down to earth today.

As with any event of this scope, it will all pass. Tomorrow is Friday and with summers the way the way they are in Minnesota (short and busy), the weekend will bring a return to normalcy and most work-a-day folks will return to their mundane existences next week. Life goes on but people will definitely notice the absence of the I-35W bridge that carried 140,000 vehicles per day across the mighty Mississippi River.


Peacechick Mary said...

I can't tell you how relieved I was to see your post. It's good to know you are safe and so terribly sorry to those who have lost loved ones.

No said...

You mean, Tom Barnard is actually acting human now?

By the way, Sornie, did you know anyone who was on this bridge?

Just heard that Laura Bush will there today and GWB tomorrow..lucky you...more traffic that you don't need.

JR's Thumbprints said...

I'm hoping this isn't the beginning of the decline of America's infrastructures. I wonder how much federal funding has been cut to repair our bridges?

buffalodickdy said...

The bridge had 2 lanes shut down and was still handling roughly the same amount of cars going slower over 1/2 the normal load bearing area... A high school kid in physics could fiqure this one out..

Beth said...

The intense media coverage will pass (as soon as the next disaster occurs) but you will have the wreckage as a sad reminder for a very long time.

Sornie said...

Thanks Mary and No, Tom Barnard is being just as much of a douchebag as ever. One of the staff writers at one of our satellite offices was just south of the bridge, literally 3 minutes away, when it collapsed -- she lived in Northeast. The Bush visits, though (both George & Laura) were pre-planned before the collapse (fundraising?).

JR -- It seems to be a wake-up call for our infrastructure. If any improvements happen, though, is anyone's guess.

Yes, Buffalo, regardless of how many lanes were open, the bridge wasn't designed to carry 141,000 vehicles/day across it.

Beth, the local news tonight said that the debris will take MONTHS to remove, it will serve as a reminder for far too long. 18-24 months to rebuild.

Brendan said...

I'm a little late on this one (excuse here), but I, too, wanted to say: Glad you weren't on the bridge when it fell, and sorry you have to have GWB infest your town.

My mother once drove across the Mianus River Bridge, shortly before it collapsed.

Note to jr's thumbprint: Infrastructure decay is a huge problem. It has been ongoing, and it seems to have gotten worse lately. Rick Perlstein blogs about this regularly, if you're interested. His latest post on this topic is here.

sAssY brOwn said...

I was just crossing a big bridge from Canada to the US last weekend (Rainbow or Peace Bridge, not sure...)& was thinking for the first time how scary it was when you get to thinking about it & how you'd pretty much be screwed if it collapsed. Very sad.