The folks at Metblogs Minneapolis have been gathering first-person accounts, photos, video, and other material documenting the collapse of a bridge yesterday that killed at least four, and has dozens missing. Link to a much-updated post.
BB reader Paul says,
My friend Noah lives just beside the stretch of interstate 35w that collapsed last night in Minneapolis and was one of the first to get to the scene. He shot some amazing, harrowing photos: Link.(thanks, Tim K, Sean Bonner)
BB reader Brian says,
As a resident of MN, I was appalled last night when I had the local news on and there was someone on there blaming the bridge collapse on MN not having raised the gas tax since 1988. I couldn't believe it! During this time of crisis, they bring politics into it and are trying to push for a gas tax!BB reader Ana says,
The "bridge was given the OK sign after MNDOT investigated it twice in the last five years. So whether we put a 100 billion dollars in transportation or 50 dollars it would not have went to this particular bridge. So money spent on welfare (mostly federal) or light rail (also mostly federal) or even cash refunds from the governor would not have affected this because MNDOT made the assessment that the bridge was fine." Link.
My friend Amber's roller derby team member took these photos. She was on the part of the bridge deck that landed in the water.Muddler says,
Your readers may find these pictures of the rusty underside of the 35W bridge in Minneapolis, taken just weeks before the collapse, of great interest. At the very least, these photos give readers a much better understanding of the support structure that used to support the roadway.Pops says,
As BB reader Brian said, MN-DOT gave the OK for the bridge. I don't know if this is necessarily true, but what I do know is that they failed to intervene. One of the early Reuters reports quoted a DOT source saying that a 2006 report found the bridge suffering from stress cracks and bent girders. Curiously, the quote was removed in later revisions of the story, after Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak said no structural defects were found in neither 2005 nor 2006. The local Star Tribune newspaper linked to a 2001 report that was already noting stress cracks. It additionally reported that work was being done on the bridge -- but on the surface. Now, an AP report has the White House saying a 2005 report had the bridge "rated 50 on a scale of 100 for structural stability and was classified as 'structurally deficient'." In my mind, the real question is: if issues were raised about this segment (which the DOT says services 200,000 cars daily) a while back ago, why was the work being done on the surface and not on the structural stability? Link.Corey Anderson says,
More live blogging and news coverage from Minneapolis alt-weekly City Pages about the I-35 bridge collapse: Link.David Calkins says,
This is a traffic webcam of the bridge which recorded its collapse as it happens. It's there one second, and then just drops almost as a whole.Anonymous says,
A fascinating list of bridge disasters through history, including one caused by a clown and one caused by marching troops: Link.