CommunityFDL Main Blog

Late Nite FDL: We Interrupt This Broadcast…


(Photo courtesy of Centristy.)

Hey, gang. When I wrote about John Roberts and the burned mansion the other day, and how things can happen in an instant — the lightning stroke was the metaphor I used — little did I know that I’d get to see one of these instant changes hit fairly close to home.

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 near downtown Minneapolis 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. This little fact was also mentioned in the StarTribune today, both in a news article and in a column by Nick Coleman.

It’s also 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. (In fact, the past two decades’ worth of stingy Republican governors and Jesse Ventura — equipped with just enough Republicans in the Lege to prevent any efforts to override their budget vetoes — have taken their toll; the bridge’s “structurally deficient” rating goes back to 1990, and nothing other than makeshift fixes was done to it after that.)

Eat your heart out, Grover Norquist.

[UPDATE:  Minnesota Monitor are the go-to folks for news on this event and many other local events.  Check ’em out.]

Previous post

Preacher's Sons Shows What It Means to Be a Family

Next post

Phoenix Woman

Phoenix Woman