Captain Ed has a chilling video of the bridge collapse taken by a nearby security camera. Given that I’ve driven across the bridge dozens of times, and many of my friends take it every day, this whole situation is incredibly chilling.
Iâ€™ve driven across this bridge every few days for thirty years. There are bridges, and there are bridges; this one had the most magnificent view of downtown available, and itâ€™s a miracle I never rear-ended anyone while gawking at the skyline, the old Stone Bridge, the Mississippi. You always felt proud to be here when you crossed that bridge, pleased to live in such a beautiful place. Didnâ€™t matter if it was summer twilight or hard cold winter noon – Minneapolis always seemed to be standing at attention, posing for a formal portrait . Weâ€™ll have that view again â€“ but itâ€™ll take a generation before itâ€™s no longer tinged with regret and remembrance.
Meanwhile, the official death toll is down to 4 — but that will rise as the Hennepin County Coroner’s Office processes the victims of this tragedy.
UPDATE: Mitch Berg has some more thoughts about the collapse. He’s right in pointing out that the bridge was designed so that you’d scarcely know you were on a bridge — which would make it all the more frightening when the road underneath you gave way…
UPDATE: John Hinderaker notes that the bridge was rated as being “structurally deficient” in 2005 — what’s frightening is that 40-50% of bridges in Minnesota are also rated that way. I have a feeling that a collapse this total and this sudden was the result of a design flaw combined with some structural cracking, rather than just structural cracking alone, but even that isn’t very reassuring.