Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Massive Bridge Collapse in Minneapolis

This video frame grab taken from KMSP television shows the scene of a freeway bridge over the Mississippi River in Minneapolis Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2007. The entire span of the 35W bridge collapsed about 6:05 p.m. where the freeway crosses the river near University Avenue. (AP Photo/KMSP-TV)

WaPo (AP): Bridge Falls Into Mississippi River

MINNEAPOLIS -- The entire span of an interstate bridge collapsed into the Mississippi River during evening rush hour Wednesday, sending vehicles, tons of concrete and twisted metal crashing into the water.

The Interstate 35W bridge, a major link between Minneapolis and St. Paul, was in the midst of being repaired when it broke into several huge sections.

"There were two lanes of traffic, bumper to bumper, at the point of the collapse. Those cars did go into the river," Minneapolis Police Lt. Amelia Huffman. "At this point there is nothing to suggest that this was anything other than a structural collapse."

I heard a Minnesota-based Foxbot talking to Shepard Smith about the bridge collapse. She said, in essence, that she didn't know if this was a factor, but Minneapolis has been in the grip of a heatwave all summer. They quickly took her off the air!

The collapse is much more likely due to the fact that it's a 40 year old bridge (opened in 1967) which, when inspected in 2006, was found to have "cracks in bridge superstructure that needed attention."

Best comment on the bridge collapse, from commenter xxdr zombiexx at dailykos:

Things crumbling was a hallmark of Soviet-era incompetence and dereliction of duty.

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