Thursday, September 20, 2007

MN visit - part II - 35W bridge

Hmm... on Sept. 6th we went to see The Bridge. The 35W bridge which collapsed in early August. I drove over that bridge twice a day, for years, when I lived in southeast Mpls. and worked at Valspar. It was not old then, it was not deteriorating then. It was just there and I drove across it mindlessly. And now it isn't any of those things at all. It is just old, broken. Just gone.

Enough time had elapsed that the large chunks of concrete had been removed from the river (the Mississippi, for those of you asking What river?). I was told that they were moved to a location downstream for analysis or whatever the Powers That Be will do with them. Portions of the collapsed pavement still were on the riverbanks, and huge portions of twisted metal were still in the river itself.

Folks, it was so sobering to see in person. We had seen a lot of news coverage, photos, videos. But nothing compared with seeing it ourselves, with our own eyes. And yes, we took photos, but not as an obscene remembrance. It was kind of like when your childhood school closes or is razed or something like that. A part of your life is gone, in a way. Hard to explain. I don't think the word sobering is all that descriptive of my feelings, but it's the best I could come up with. I am thankful that only 13 lives were lost, which is amazing when you see the wreckage. I may post photos with this day's blog. Haven't offloaded them from the camera yet.

Don't want to muddy this posting with anything else. It is still sobering, in hindsight. (I tried to find another word to use, instead of sobering - only found humbling as a distant second.)
Note: photos were taken from the 10th Ave. bridge, which crosses the river only a bit to the east of the collapsed bridge. See locale of this bridge on this Wikipedia entry:

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