This is the sort of stuff that can the conspiracy theorists’ cranked up.
1. Barack Obama grabs the headlines with an amazing turnout in St. Paul.
2. Tim Pawlenty, the Republican governor, is said to be in the running to be John McCain’s running mate. McCain is running against Obama.
3. Shortly before Obama’s appearance at the Xcel Center, Pawlenty’s Department of Transportation schedules a news conference in Winona for 8 p.m. to announce yet another bridge closing over the Mississippi River.
Engineers will spend the week inspecting gusset plates on the bridge. Says a MnDOT news release, “Although the Highway 43 Mississippi River bridge in Winona was inspected last year, Mn/DOT is performing additional inspections on all state bridges with gusset plates similar to the Interstate 35W bridge in Minneapolis that collapsed last August.”
The Highway 43 bridge closing means the nearest alterantives are the Highway 25 bridge to the north at Wabasha; and the Interstate 90 bridge to the south between La Crescent, Minnesota, and La Crosse, Wisconsin. That’s a one-hour detour to cross the river.