So far, the mayor of Minneapolis is reporting six dead and many more injured. I'd be surprised if it doesn't end up being more than six considering the length of the bridge and the traffic at that time, which was bumper to bumper both northbound and southbound. I believe some of the lanes were already closed for resurfacing, reducing it to two lanes in each direction, instead of the usual four. The drop was 64 feet down to the water. The bridge came down with enough force to basically crush a railroad car that was part of a train passing underneath.
Originally posted by piemanThis was the first place I checked after seeing this news report on the television.
I am glad that all the Minneapolis Zimmermans are fine.
All this without showing any concern for his brother. I'M FINE, TOO!
Actually, the press conference just got done this morning and they've lowered the body count to four right now as there are a few people in the local hospitals that haven't been identified for various reasons. Also, they said that there are still quite a few bodies in cars underwater still that they can't get to yet, wether covered by debris or current/washed downstream. It'll be a bit before they can definitively say how many.
Thankfully, none of my family/friends were on the bridge. My prayers to all involved.
-edit- I just remembered about MnDot's camera system in the Twin Cities and checked this out:
I saw someplace that the bridge was just a 1960's-era structure? And they had half of the lanes closed for road work? Has anybody had any kind of insight so far as to why it failed when it did? (I'm accustomed to hearing about earthquakes or storms or uncharacteristic loads causing structural failures. So far, this didn't seem to have any of those factors ...)
My father works in road construction and has supervised the construction and repair of hundreds of bridges. In his opinion, three things contributed to it. (Or he wouldn't be surprised if they did.)
First, there were structural problems to the bridge (which as we're finding out isn't as uncommon as we'd like to think). Second, the work they were doing on the bridge was work on the deck (the pavement), not the structure itself. It's possible that work may have upset the load balance of the bridge.
And finally...although they had it narrowed down to two lanes each way, it doesn't appear that much of the traffic had been rerouted.
So...you had the normal traffic load, jammed up on the same bridge, but with a different weight distribution than normal. Add in the road work, and the existing structural problems?
He mentioned a bridge that used to be near Mayville, WI that he kept petitioning them to fix (it finally did). He basically told his superiors "Give me a hammer and chisel and I could drop it in the river in five minutes." Yikes.
I must say that my first thought was about the safety of Chris and Kim which made my lack of access to the internet while traveling over the past few days a little frustrating.
My second thought was that I hoped Paul Westerberg (and any other surviving Replacements) as well as the other awesome musicians Minneapolis has produced were okay (I'm assuming I would have heard *something* on the national news if that were not the case).
Glad to hear everyone on the board and their relatives are okay and obviously my thoughts go out to those who aren't.
It is a good rule in life never to apologize. The right sort of people do not want apologies, and the wrong sort take a mean advantage of them. P. G. Wodehouse (1881 - 1975), The Man Upstairs (1914)
I tell you, things like this shake you up. I was sitting on our Kennedy Bridge yesterday morning - had to stop still for a few seconds waiting for traffic as I went over the Ohio and as the Semis went past, it kind of shook.
Weird. I have probably experienced that same thing 50 times before, but it was spooky this time.
See, this is what distresses me. People completely dismiss people like Chomsky and Greg Palast without truly knowing their platforms. He is not on the left. Or the right. He is probably closest to the middle of any news reporter here in America.