Thursday, August 02, 2007

I-35W Bridge Collapses in Minneapolis

I was horrified when I got home last night to discover that an interstate bridge in Minneapolis had collapsed without warning last night. There was bumper-to-bumper traffic on the bridge, and dozens of cars and other vehicles fell over 60 feet into the Mississippi River. The last count confirmed that four people were killed, and over 70 were injured. Recovery efforts are still going on, and the death toll is expected to rise. We won't know what caused the fatal collapse for some time, until all the investigations are completed.

This incident brought back memories for me from the time I spent some time in the Twin Cities back in 1999. I went there in August of that year, to a Twins-Red Sox game, and then a Vikings-Eagles preseason game. (I was absolutely thrilled, being a long time Vikings fan.) I had a wonderful time there, as Minneapolis and St. Paul are truly beautiful cities and I met some very nice people as well. I also did a few "touristy" things in the Twin Cities, like go to the Mall of America in Bloomington, where the old Metropolitan Stadium used to stand. (And I even found the house that was used as the backdrop of "The Mary Tyler Moore Show.")

I stayed at a hotel on the campus of the University of Minnesota, which is not far from the Metrodome. My friend Mark, who is a Minneapolis native currently living in Massachusetts, showed me around his native city. We went to the games together, and we went over that bridge that collapsed, and walked across the other bridge which is next to it. The bridges are just a short drive from the ballpark, which is in downtown Minneapolis.

My thoughts and prayers go out to the good folks of Minnesota, and especially to those who have been impacted by this terrible tragedy. May God be with all of you.

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