What have we learned from the collapse of the I-35W bridge?

It’s five years since the Interstate Hwy. 35W bridge fell into the Mississippi River. What have we learned from the collapse of the I-35W bridge?

  • Kurt

    Only that life is fragile. Carpe diem.

  • John

    We have learned that collapse is happening all around us. From our infrastructure to our economy to our trust in government, police and news media.

  • Joberg

    If you are a personal injury attorney, the road to wealth arrives with more bridges falling down.

  • Lou

    After watching the state legislature the past two years when cutting every government function was considered and yet enough funds were provided to build a stadium for the Vikings, I would say that we have learned nothing. It is only a matter of time before another part of our infrastructure crumbles.

  • glenn

    There was NO REASON for the bridge to fall. Should MnDOT wish to repair any bridge- CLOSE IT!!

    NOTE- Rivets had been poping out of this structure for many years.


  • Ann

    Does anyone know why people in New York and Europe could build bridges and buildings that last over 100 years, but builders in Minnesota have their road bridges and Metrodomes collapse? Don’t they know how to consider the weather just like builders in California have buildings that can withstand small earthquakes?

  • david

    That our infrastructure is crumbling and no one wants to, or thinks they should be obligated to pay to maintain it.

  • Larry M

    “You get what you pay for” and then governor Pawlenty refused to raise the gas tax to help repair and maintain our bridges and roads. So what we had was a bridge that had seen more traffic than was foreseen at the time of its making fall into disrepair, and a system that was trying to put a patch on the top once again and actually was in the process of being inspected, you would think you’d do that before heavy equipment on it. Molnau was also incompetent, but I’m sure she was doing the governor’s bidding by trying to do everything on the cheap.

  • Steve the Cynic

    Even in the face of strong evidence that their ideololgy is misguided, ideologues will persist in their beliefs as if they were religious dogma. Though infrastructure crumbles, they persist in demanding spending cuts. Though the banks fail due to inadequate regulation, ideologues propose more deregulation as the answer. They think the solution to the problem of gun violence is more and deadlier guns. Three and four decades ago, it was liberal ideologues holding the ridiculous belief that subsidizing poverty would reduce it. Now we’ve got the opposite problem, with people thinking that giving tax breaks to hoarders (on capital gains and inheritance) will somehow make life better for the middle class and the poor. When will we learn?

  • Gary F

    All I know is that we have built more feel good bike paths and feel good light rail lines that have rider ship less than expected(Northstar), but we still haven’t fixed the two bridges the pass over Hwy 100 in St Louis Park that have LOTS of exposed rusting rebar and crumbling concrete. I travel that road Wednesday mornings and sit in traffic hoping a train doesn’t go over the bridge when I’m underneath it.

    So, lets spend money on lots of feel good stuff like the Jefferson Bikeway in St Paul and ignore the stuff that really needs fixing.

  • Jim G

    Bridges connect us both literally and psychologically. When they fall as the 35W Bridge did in Minnesota five years ago, they tear away at the fabric of society. Our lack of care, concern and maintenance for these physical bridges are threatening the health of our economic system. It symbolizes our lack of care, concern and maintenance of the other “bridges” in our society; i.e. education, health care, and government agencies which bind us together.

    At present we continue to underfund these connections at our civilization’s peril. The Chinese are building their bridges, physical and societal, insuring their nation’s continued viability. At the same time we’re letting our “bridges” crumble. Our lack of collective wisdom is astounding. We need smarter leaders.

    I’ll paraphrase Steve the Cynic’s words posted here previously many times, “If you want smarter leaders, be a smarter voter.”

  • Mary

    Infrastructure wears out and has to be replaced just like everything else. It’s a good thing, replacing it creates jobs.

  • Mike

    What have I learned from the collapse of the I-35W bridge?

    To get high more often and trust one’s intuition. I did and just missed the collapse. Instead of dying or being delayed I prayed for those afflicted and meditated on novelty and grace.

  • Mary

    Infrastructure wears out and has to be replaced just like everything else. It’s a good thing, it creates jobs.

  • GregX

    that public infrastucture is overused, under-maintained and only terrible accidents cause the vast majority of citizens to care enough to deal with the problem. If we are going to keep building more “infrastructure” we better be willing to pay the piper for keeping it up to the standard that every armchari expert thinks its kept up to every day. Otherwise – the only thing we should be building is transit systems, bikeways and a fiber optic internet everywhere.

  • CarlS

    That putting off a problem does not make it go away.

  • Tricky mItt

    I would call it the:

    Prove you are a real American, not some yucky poor person



    Gays and lesbians hate us anyway so lets gang up on them amendment.