Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Notes On A Bridge

Posted by Phoenix Woman on August 2, 2007

bridge.jpg

As everyone knows by now, at 6:05 pm local time yesterday, just after the height of the afternoon rush hour, the 35W freeway bridge spanning the Mississippi between Minneapolis and Saint Paul collapsed, taking dozens of cars, trucks and buses down with it.

What caused this to happen? Massive failure of the steel support structures, apparently. Did we have advance warning? Tim Pawlenty, Minnesota’s governor, says no — he says the bridge passed its most recent exams with no major problems. Others beg to differ: as the sidebar in this NPR article states, in 2005, engineers rated the bridge as “structurally deficient” and that it would possibly need to be replaced, not just repaired. [UPDATE: This is also mentioned in the StarTribune today, both in a news article and in a column by Nick Coleman.]

It’s possible that delayed maintenance — delayed because of budget cuts, as the Republican Pawlenty would rather chop off his own genitals than undo his tax cuts for the rich — may have been a factor.

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6 Responses to “Notes On A Bridge”

  1. dave said

    Just to clarify: I35W does NOT separate Minneapolis and St. Paul. I35 splits into two routes, I35W that runs through Minneapolis and I35E that runs through St. Paul. They converge on the north and south sides of the metro area. The I35W bridge connects the east and west banks of the Mississippi River as it flows through Minneapolis.

  2. Sam said

    Actually,
    If you want to place blame look at the DFL and lefty agenda on transportation.
    No money for roads and endless money for trains and buses.
    They pushed an amendment which guarantees a minimum of 40% for buses and caps the amount that can be spent on roads and bridges.

    Look around how many new bus stops, trains, park and rides do you see.
    Now how much of that money could have been spent on roads.

    The left would rather spend money on buying votes with buses then fixing the roads.

    There is plenty of money, it is just being wasted on “transportation” and not spent where it needs to be.

  3. Sam, that amendment passed a good year after the 2005 study.

    But Smilin’ Tim fears the wrath of David Strom and the (Rich) Taxpayers’ League more than he cares about the rest of us.

    If you guys didn’t work to kill the property-tax fairness plan the DFL pushed earlier this year, we might be able to pay for the damage done by years of Pawlenty’s starve-the-beast tax cuts. But of course that won’t happen.

  4. daveinboca said

    The creeps at the Red Star Tribune are already pointing fingers. It’s gotta be Bush’s fault!!!

  5. Charles said

    [nutwinger] Right, nothing that happens is Bush’s fault. Nothing. Ever. And don’t anyone forget it. And you’re all a bunch of communists because you think that repairing bridges costs money.[/nutwinger]

  6. […] got around to repairing (actually, they were so bad that engineers recommended that the bridge be replaced), possibly due to Republican budget-cutting to avoid tax increases (news flash for Republicans: […]

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