August 1, 2007 is a day that will live in Minnesotan minds for a long time. That is when the 35W Bridge collapsed, killing at least 5, and wounding many many more. I watched the events unfold at home, just getting in from work. At first it looked like a fire, but you could soon see the gap over the river.
Since August 1st, the Federal Government has launched an investigation into the collapse. They are looking into so many reasons, but have not declared a clear cause as of yet.
However, a separate investigation was launched using a local law firm. They released their report today (you can view it here
). The summation of the report is simple (sort of). Financial strain on MNDOT (MN Dept of Transportation) played a part in the collapse. MNDOT Employees did not always follow procedure by reporting the findings when they had inspections and did nothing to improve the “poor”
rating the bridge repeatedly received. Reports were not made on the bowing of the gusset plates
The law firm made many recommendations, some that are already being put into place. Hopefully this will be a step to improve an already under-fire department.
The new bridge has been underway for some time, and there is even talk of it being open by September. Take a look at these pictures, they are pretty amazing.
Continue to keep the families of the wounded in your hearts and minds. There are many that will need lifetime threapy and physical help.
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