August 1, 2007

Pray For The Twin Cities

One of the most-traveled freeways in the Twin Cities -- a span over the Mississippi River -- collapsed about an hour ago. At the time, the highway had bumper-to-bumper traffic in the middle of rush hour, and dozens of cars have gone into the river or been caught in the rubble:

The Interstate Hwy. 35W bridge over the Mississippi River collapsed during the evening rush hour Wednesday, dumping at least eight cars and a truck into the water and onto the land below, creating a horrific scene of damage, fire, smoke, injuries, frantic rescuers and terrified motorists.

It was not clear how many people might be hurt or killed, but witnesses said at least 20 cars were involved.

The crumpled green wreckage of the bridge lay on the east bank of the river, and a huge section of concrete roadway lay on the west bank. Down below in the river gorge, rescue workers scrambled to help people on the roadway that now lay in the gorge. Fires burned and black smoke rose billowed the wreckage.

I have spent the last half-hour finding my son, daughter-in-law, and granddaughter. They're OK, and now we have to wait to see who isn't. I'll be updating this as more details become available.

7:18 PM CT: No fatalities yet, but some of the injured have gone to Hennepin County Meical Center.

7:25 - A safety engineer who had no involvement in the bridge noted that it had some minor cracking in 2001, but it had been given a clean bill of health both then and in 2006. The state had been doing some work on the deck, but nothing that should have disturbed the structure of the bridge.

7:29 - A school bus for a youth group is on the bridge. The word is that some of them were injured, but that all of them made it out of the bus. The bus is adjacent to a truck whose cab is obviously crushed, and that looks very bad indeed.

KSTP reports that the people on the bridge who were uninjured did not run off the bridge -- they went from car to car to look for the injured and give them assistance.

7:40 - At WCCO, a witness says that there are "quite a few deceased," which doesn't surprise me, considering the extent of the collapse. The link takes you to a slideshow of the collapse; I'm not sure of the source.

7:45 - John Hinderaker notes that he's been on that bridge hundreds if not thousands of times. I've been on it dozens of times myself; if you drive through Minneapolis, you can hardly avoid it. Michelle Malkin also notes that the Department of Transportation will have a press conference at 8:40 local time.

I agree with John on another point -- bridges like these don't collapse in the US, especially when they're only 40 years old. It's hard to say what could have brought it down, but hopefully the DoT will have more information.

7:53 - The choppers have been ordered out of the area; we're going to get severe thunderstorms blowing through the city, right over the collapse. The timing could not possibly be worse. Rescue workers cannot operate in the river while lightning remains a danger.

8:01 - HCMC is about to hold a press conference in a few moments. It sounds like they will have some word on injuries, and perhaps on fatalities, too. CNN apparently is reporting three deaths so far.

8:07 - US Internet has unlocked their Wi-Fi in the Minneapolis area so that people can contact their families. Kudos to them for their community spirit.

8:14 - One confirmed fatality at HCMC, six critical cases out of sixteen brought there. The one death was a drowning.

8:19 - One thing that people need to keep in mind about the Twin Cities is how small they are, comparatively speaking to other major cities. Combined, the two cities only have a population of 650,000, and the entire metro area is only 2.5 million people. Given the likely number of people injured and perhaps killed in this tragedy, this will touch many, many families here in this area.

8:30 - The DHS says they have no indication at all that this could be terrorism:

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security in Washington said there was no indication of terrorism in the disaster.

"There is no indication of a nexus to terrorism at this time," department spokesman Russ Knocke said.

I didn't think it was. No one mentioned any explosions, and we've heard plenty from witnesses. I'd almost wonder if we had some sort of earthquake, or whether a barge hit one of the supports in the river.

8:36 - Noah at Blanked Out was there; the bridge was right by his house. He said the bridge went down "so very slowly". Glad Noah's OK.

9:01 - Still waiting for a DoT briefing. Our friends at the University of Minnesota Medical Center, where the First Mate has had three transplants, handled 33 patients with no fatalities, and most were walk-ins. So far, we've only heard one confirmed drowning, but with the number of cars in the river, I think we can expect more drownings.

Also, Senator Norm Coleman spoke with the Secretary of Transportation, who says the last federal inspection of the bridge was in 2004. This bridge formed part of Interstate 35W, which means that the federal government has oversight over bridge maintenance as well.

9:12 - Mayor R.T. Rybak told WCCO that six people have died. That number is still not confirmed, nor is anyone thinking it will be final.

9:15 - Here is the abstract from the March 2001 report on the bridge, which can be seen here in its original state; note that the bridge did not have river supports, so the barge theory would not be applicable here (h/t CQ commenter LifeTrek). Interesting excerpt:

Researchers monitored the strain gages while trucks with known axle weights crossed the bridge under normal traffic. Researchers then developed two-and three-dimensional finite-element models of the bridge, and used the models to calculate the stress ranges throughout the deck truss. The bridge's deck truss has not experienced fatigue cracking, but it has many poor fatigue details on the main truss and floor truss system. The research helped determine that the fatigue cracking of the deck truss is not likely, which means that the bridge should not have any problems with fatigue cracking in the foreseeable future. As a result, Mn/DOT does not need to prematurely replace this bridge because of fatigue cracking, avoiding the high costs associated with such a large project.

One construction worker remains unaccounted, WCCO reports now.

9:34 - James Lileks is keeping an eye on the updates as well, and contributing his own unique voice to the coverage. Best point: "Sixty children on the bus. Sixty children alive. There’s chance, and there’s miracles. Take your choice."

9:36 - Did I tell you how I first found out about this? My father called me from California, where he caught the breaking news bulletin. That set off a round of frantic calls, trying to find my son and his family, who live nearby and use that bridge often. It took a very long half-hour to find them, but it ended well for us. We're praying for those who won't be as lucky.

9:38 - One more point about the construction work that was being done -- it's very routine stuff for the Twin Cities. We joke out here that we have two seaons, winter and Road Construction. The ravages of ice, snow, gravel, and salt have to be remedied on a regular basis. That kind of work would almost certainly not have created the kind of failure we saw today.

10:08 - Norm Coleman's on KSTP now. As soon as he found out about it, he started reaching out to the DoT and NTSB, and making arrangements to come out here. He wants to see a "full forensic review" into the collapse immediately. He confirmed that the 2004 inspection showed no problems, and that the annual reviews since raised no red flags. The NTSB will handle the federal review; it's the same agency that investigates airplane crashes.

10:27 - The first responder press conference is going on now. Nothing unexpected; they have a lot of resources applied to the crisis, and gave out a number of ways to access it. They still think they can find survivors, but "the likelihood is getting slim". They also have to watch that debris floating downriver doesn't damage other bridges that do have supports in the water.

10:34 - Seven people confirmed dead so far, and they expect that number to increase. KSTP has a former transportation secretary saying that 40-50% of the bridges here in Minnesota have significant deficiencies. On that happy note, I'll call it a night.


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» Minneapolis Highway Bridge Collapses from Outside The Beltway | OTB
The I-35 bridge which crosses the Mississippi River near the University of Minnesota collapsed during rush hour. A freeway bridge spanning the Mississippi River collapsed during evening rush hour Wednesday, sending many cars into the water. Tons of con... [Read More]

» Minneapolis Highway Bridge Collapses from Outside The Beltway | OTB
The I-35 bridge which crosses the Mississippi River near the University of Minnesota collapsed during rush hour. A freeway bridge spanning the Mississippi River collapsed during evening rush hour Wednesday, sending many cars into the water. Tons of con... [Read More]

» BREAKING: I-35W Bridge Collapse Into Mississippi River from Stop The ACLU
(WCCO) Minneapolis The Interstate 35W Mississippi River bridge near University Avenue has collapsed into the river. Both the northbound and southbound lanes of 35W are lying in the Mississippi River. There are multiple cars in the river and a couple c... [Read More]

» Breaking News: Bridge Collapse in Minneapolis (Updated) from GINA COBB
A Minneapolis bridge has collapsed in bumper-to-bumper traffic. Streaming updates will be added below. Background on the 35W bridge is here. Possibly 9 vehicles fell into the Mississippi River when the bridge collapsed. An aerial photo of the bridge fr... [Read More]

» Mississippi River Bridge Collaspe from Macsmind - Conservative Commentary and Common Sense
Via AP: “A freeway bridge spanning the Mississippi River collapsed during evening rush hour Wednesday, sending many cars into the water. Tons of concrete collapsed and there were injuries, authorities said. Survivors were being carried up the riv... [Read More]

» I-35W Bridge Collapse from Jay
& A little more than an hour ago a major bridge over the Mississippi in Minneapolis collapsed Hopefully the loss of life will be small, but given the magnitude of this disaster it could be great. Please try to keep the cellular networks clear unle... [Read More]

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» Massive Bridge Collapses in Minneapolis from Ed
Charles Johnson has a pair of rather frightening screen captures from Fox News, and details from the Star-Tribune. Matt Drudge is currently linking to further details. Update: Here's a live video feed from Minneapolis's WCCO. Update: Via Hot Air,... [Read More]

» "You always felt proud to be here when you crossed that bridge" from sisu
In a horrific scene of Biblical proportions, dozens of vehicles were scattered and stacked on top of each other amid the rubble when a major-artery bridge spanning the Mississippi between Minneapolis and St. Paul collapsed yesterday, stranding some com... [Read More]

Comments (54)

Posted by Ned | August 1, 2007 7:13 PM

Sending good thoughts. I know many people in the Twin Cities or nearby and this sounds horrific, so my best to those on the scene now.

Posted by Teresa | August 1, 2007 7:17 PM

I thought of you and yours as soon as I heard. I'm glad you are OK and am praying for everyone else.

Posted by filistro | August 1, 2007 7:23 PM

So glad you posted.

But even if those we care about are safe, there are many, many who need our prayers tonight. CNN is reporting from an eyewitness who claims he saw a packed school bus go down under the wreckage...

Posted by Ray | August 1, 2007 7:24 PM

I live in Minneapolis and I travel over this bridge several times a week and I just can't believe that it has collapsed. I'm watching the scenes that are being televised and I have t say, I am in shock. My heart and prayers goes out to all who injured in this tragedy.

I have hear reports of numerous people being taken to Hennipen County Medical Center, some in critical condition. That medical center is a level 1 trauma center, so I know these people will receive the best of care.

Cellphone providers in the twin cities have ask people to limit calls to just those that are necessary as the providers are being swamped by the number of calls being made at this time. Please, if you know someone here in Minneapolis and wish to contact them, it is advisable to wait until the emergency is over as responders need to coordinate their activities and, as many are civilians, they need the cellphones to communicate.

Posted by Brendan | August 1, 2007 7:25 PM

You were the first (blogger) I thought of. Went to the U of MN myself and have a lot of friends and some relatives in the area still. Hoping for the lowest amount of suffering possible. I've also used that bridge countless times. I still can't fathom a spontaneous collapse of that bridge with all the chatter a few years ago about infrastructure problems - esp in the North East, I can't help but hope this isn't a bad portent.

Posted by Joe | August 1, 2007 7:32 PM

My prayers and hopes for a good outcome go out to everyone involved with the bridge collapse.

Posted by Caltechgirl [TypeKey Profile Page] | August 1, 2007 7:36 PM

Oh Ed, I am so glad to see your family is ok. I thought of you some of the other Twin CIties folks as soon as I heard.

Posted by Ray | August 1, 2007 7:44 PM

The bridge had been under repair by the Minnesota Highway Department and was restricted to one lane each direction last night to accommodate those repairs. The bridge was opened to all traffic this morning. The bridge was scheduled to be restricted tonight as well. These repairs were limited to the road deck and did not include the structural members, according to MnDOT. This bridge is about 30 years old and has been inspected several times over it's lifespan.

At this time, there are no indications as to the cause of the collapse. There has been some eyewitness accounts of possible structural repairs being performed today, but these reports are as yet unconfirmed.

Posted by poodlemom | August 1, 2007 7:46 PM

For those of you who get Fox Cable News, first notice came in during the latter part of Shep Smith's show. So far they have stayed with live coverage. It's unbelievable!! A section of the bridge came down in the river, other sections have come down on traffic below the bridge. This looks as bad, if not worse, than the Bay Bridge that came down during the '89 quake in SF.

It looks like a scene from armageddon. First responders trying to make water rescues, others fighting fires that have erupted from the gasoline that's been spilled.

These folks need all our prayers.

Posted by Ray | August 1, 2007 7:59 PM

US Internet, a major Internet provider in the Minneapolis/Saint Paul metropolitan area, just announced that they are offering free Internet access for the next 12 hours to everyone in the area to allow for friends and family to contact those who may be affected by this collapse. The cellphone providers are being swamped by the volume of calls into and out of the area. If you are trying to contact loved ones in the area and are unable to get through vie cellphone, it is possible that you may be able to contact them via the Internet.

Many thanks go out to US Internet for their assistance in this matter.

Posted by dave | August 1, 2007 8:09 PM

24 hours tops before it is Bush's fault for diverting highway funds to Iraq.

Posted by dave | August 1, 2007 8:11 PM

24 hours tops before it is Bush's fault for diverting highway funds to Iraq.

Posted by cirby | August 1, 2007 8:15 PM

I disagree with the "bridges like this don't collapse" thought, though.

For one thing, there weren't that many bridges like this (truss bridges with a 450 foot+ single central span). Due to the mounting/support system for the main span, all it would take would be a single failure of one of the support pillars to cause the whole thing to come down - this is probably what did it.
Four supports - but really two, one on each side. Wash out one of those, and you have nothing to hold one end up.

Truss bridges are amazingly strong until you bend them a little bit, then they're suddenly not strong at all.

That's fast-moving water under there - and scouring of the bed under a support is one of those things that keeps popping up in bridge collapses worldwide...

Posted by Del Dolemonte | August 1, 2007 8:20 PM

dave said:

"24 hours tops before it is Bush's fault for diverting highway funds to Iraq."

Democratic Underground is already blaming Bush and the Republican Governor of Minnesota...

Posted by Jason | August 1, 2007 8:26 PM

Yep. Del's right, Dave. It was only seconds before DU blamed Bush and the Republicans.

Posted by CatoRenasci | August 1, 2007 8:28 PM

Anent the comment that this sort of thing doesn't happen in the US -- yes, it does sometimes. In the early 1980s, in Cos Cob, Connecticut, the I95 bridge over the Mianus River collapsed without warning. It turned out to have been substandard construction.

Don't jump to any conclusions on this one until we have the facts.

Posted by ExUrbanKevin | August 1, 2007 8:36 PM

To borrow a phrase first heard almost 6 years ago:

"We are all Minnesotans right now."

May God watch over the families and friends of everyone involved in this.

Posted by James I. Hymas | August 1, 2007 8:54 PM

Glad you're OK. Horrible even to think of a such a routine piece of engineering suddenly proving unreliable.

Quebec had bridge collapse last year - it has been suggested that it was due to corrosion from road salt but a public inquiry is in progress with

a combination of dodgy design, the use of inappropriate building materials and shoddy construction.

also named as possibilities.

Posted by LifeTrek | August 1, 2007 8:58 PM

Captain, there were no supports in the river see here:

Posted by John | August 1, 2007 9:01 PM

Sometime these things just happen unexpectedly.

Back in April 2004, I watched an Interstate 20 bridge near the Davis Mountains in West Texas collapse into a normally dry stream bed that had been filled due to overnight flooding coming down from the mountains which had already broken a levee in a nearby town. No injuries or fatalities, since the span was both far shorter and started to buckle well before it fell, but it was a bridge under regular inspection by Texas Department of Transportation engineers and was not on the schedule for any impending repairs.

Posted by Lightwave | August 1, 2007 9:02 PM

Ed, I used to live in St. Louis Park near Lake Calhoun. I've been on the 35W bridge myself a number of times back in 2001-02 in and out of Minneapolis.

It's amazing. You read about these things but you never think it'll happen to anyone or anywhere you know...and good for the people of the Twin Cities still showing the world what "Minnesota Nice" truly means.

Prayers go out to you and yours, Ed.

Posted by jeff wasserstein | August 1, 2007 9:14 PM

Ed, first thing I thought of when I saw this was you. So glad you and your's are ok. I'll be praying for the Twin Cities tonight.

Posted by TW | August 1, 2007 9:15 PM

Hoping for the best for everyone involved.

Posted by baldilocks | August 1, 2007 9:27 PM

Praying for you.

Posted by Allison | August 1, 2007 9:29 PM

Well, first, while it's a piece of bridge many people here in the cities travel many many times, it's really quite awkward to get to it from St. Paul, or to get to St. Paul from it.

Second, while bridges don't spontaneously collapse, as John Hinderaker pointed out, they've been doing construction on this bridge for several weeks now--massive construction, where they cut holes in the concrete lanes and other things on a daily basis. It's possible that the construction played a significant part in this collapse.

Posted by Chris mankey | August 1, 2007 9:32 PM

"24 hours tops before it is Bush's fault for diverting highway funds to Iraq."

Democratic Underground is already blaming Bush and the Republican Governor of Minnesota..."

Probably because he balanced the budget by cutting down on funding to maintain infrastructure. What an ass!

Posted by George | August 1, 2007 9:34 PM

But, but rush hour traffic does not create enough heat for those trusses to melt. Look at that pickup truck on top of the wreckage. What looks like a shadow under it must surely be some sort of explosive payload. The Bush administration must have been complicit with this collapse.


Posted by fmfnavydoc | August 1, 2007 9:49 PM

God Bless those in the Twin Cities tonight, the families, the victims and the rescuers.

Posted by D. Roman | August 1, 2007 10:14 PM

Relieved to hear you are alright and we are praying.

Posted by Dave | August 1, 2007 10:36 PM

isn't it times like this when the democrat party shows it's true colors? It's sad that something like this has to be turned into a political issue, but what is more sad is that the Democrats take a non-political issue and make it political. They do it enough to the point where everyone is expecting a ridiculous "Bush did it" response from them. It is part and parcel of their game plan and i find it utterly disgusting that they would focus on blame when people still are being rescued.

It just goes to show you how low the expectations of the Democrats has sunk.

Posted by Christopher Calandro | August 1, 2007 10:44 PM

Excellent coverage, Ed, of what appears to be a tragic event in the Twin Cities. As always, I appreciate your efforts.

Posted by Len S. | August 1, 2007 10:49 PM

Google earth has a photo of the bridge from the west that's called mafia bridge. Any idea why?


Posted by Len S. | August 1, 2007 10:51 PM

Google earth has a photo of the bridge from the west that's called mafia bridge. Any idea why?


Posted by KendraWilder | August 1, 2007 10:54 PM

Half an hour after the bridge collapsed, we heard about it on the news and promptly hit the phones. All relatives are safe, thankfully. Our prayers and thoughts go out to those less fortunate.

Posted by U N Owen | August 1, 2007 11:08 PM

I'm amazed it passed inspection that recently. You can see significant corrosion at the main joints in the helicopter TV shots.

Posted by Ray | August 1, 2007 11:14 PM

"Probably because he balanced the budget by cutting down on funding to maintain infrastructure. What an ass!
Posted by: Chris mankey at August 1, 2007 9:32 PM "

Just who's the ass here? The bridge was under repair when it collapsed, so just how can a lack of "funding to maintain infrastructure" be a contributing cause?

Please, use a little common sense. It will be several months before the cause of this collapse is determined. Do the residents of Minneapolis, like myself, a favor and refrain from blaming this on politics. This is a tragedy that effects a lot of people and we need time to morn our dead and pray for the swift recovery of the injured.

Posted by Ray | August 1, 2007 11:42 PM

"I'm amazed it passed inspection that recently. You can see significant corrosion at the main joints in the helicopter TV shots.
Posted by: U N Owen at August 1, 2007 11:08 PM"

Surface corrosion, like that visible in the news reports, rarely leads to structural failure. It is possible that corrosion contributed to the collapse, but the type of corrosion that would cause a massive failure isn't the type you would see on the surface. It is the corrosion you can't see, like the corrosion occurring deep within the structural members or the welds that join those members together, that normally leads to structural failure.

A greater suspect is fatigue fractures within the structural steel. Those fractures can be very small and can suddenly link up to form a large crack. I have seen just this type of failure when I was a helicopter mechanic in the Army.

There was a problem in the manufacture of the root fittings of helicopter blades. (Root fittings are what joins the blades to the hub) The manufacturing process led to minute fractures deep within some of the root fitting and those fractures were not visible. When exposed to the stresses of powered flight, the minute fractures propagated and begin to join together until a catastrophic failure occurred and the fittings disintegrated. Several Cobras crashed with loss of life before the culprit was identified and could be remedied. I was one of the mechanics that used ultrasonic equipment to identify the root fittings that contained those minute fractures so those fittings could be replaced. I learned a lot from that.

Posted by ExurbanKevin | August 1, 2007 11:52 PM

The inestimable Mr. Hewitt set the right note during the immediate aftermath of the Virginia Tech tradegy by refusing to debate the merits of Va. Tech's "No guns" policy and let love, compassion and support be the rule of the day.

I suggest this be the conservative response to this tradegy as well.

Let others spew hatred and bile, and in doing so, show themselves for what they really are. Let us show concern the suffering and mercy for the fallen, and in doing so, highlight the difference between talking about changing the world, and actually caring enough to work for that change better than words could ever do.

"By their fruits, ye shall know them."

Posted by Cybrludite [TypeKey Profile Page] | August 2, 2007 12:18 AM

A suggestion for folks trying to reach people in the area via cell phone: Use text messaging. It's lower bandwidth and the message can sit in your phone or in the cell repeater while waiting for the net to clear enough for it to be transmitted.

Posted by Ron C | August 2, 2007 12:27 AM

Without any question whatsoever in my mind - if the dolts in government are honest (and most are not) - they will tell you the bridge fell from structural damage caused by 40 years of salt damage.

All you have to do is look at older cars running around out there with holes in the side-panels caused by massive corrosion - to get a feel for what 40 years of huge amounts of salt being dumped on that road could do to the metal under that bridge.

Anyone who thinks that salt would not damage that metal has never looked at the facts - or spent any time at sea on board a ship fighting what just a few years of salt can do to inch-thick steel.

Posted by Kevin | August 2, 2007 12:27 AM

Google earth has a photo of the bridge from the west that's called mafia bridge. Any idea why?

Posted by: Len S. at August 1, 2007 10:51 PM

I don't know for sure, but I suspect I know why. The cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul didn't always work together. Back in the hey-day of the mafia, gangsters used to hide out in Minnesota alot when the heat got too bad in Chicago. And while they were here they used to rob banks in one city and then flee across the river to the other city, where the police couldn't get to them. I suspect that bridge is named is it was because the mafia supposedly used it.

Of course that's just a guess knowing the history of the area. I'm not even sure of which bridge you're referring to. I'm a resident of the area and I've never heard that nickname for any of the bridges.

Posted by Trinity | August 2, 2007 12:55 AM

Thanks be to God that you and your family are okay. My thoughts and prayers are with all those injured and with the family members of those lost to this horrific event. I admit, I flashed back to that evil day of 9-11; I did..however, logic entered and I realized that it could very well be a tragic accident. Everyone stay safe..

Posted by Rose | August 2, 2007 1:07 AM

We were on the road here in Texas when we heard the news on the radio.
First thing when I got on the internet , and my e-mail popped up, there was already a note from Elijah's List asking for prayer for this, and towards prevention of other events.

All our prayers are with those in Minneapolis and their families and friends. Our hearts are with you all.

Posted by Steffan | August 2, 2007 1:10 AM

Our thoughts and prayers are definitely with everyone in the Twin Cities.

I for one will be watching for the forensic engineering reports with great interest. And I'm not the only one.

Posted by daytrader | August 2, 2007 1:19 AM

All my thoughts are with those who suffered and lost in this horrible tragedy.

Prayers to all.

As to any commenters in this thread who brought politics into it, you don't even begin to know what I would want to say to you, especially up close and personal.

Posted by Cornellian | August 2, 2007 2:03 AM

I am astounded. As you say, bridges are not supposed to just collapse in the US. I thought they had to build those things way, way over minimum spec and have them inspected regularly. Maybe we'll all learn something new about bridges from this.

Posted by lexhamfox | August 2, 2007 3:42 AM

Very sad news. Heart goes out to the victims and their families.

Posted by David | August 2, 2007 3:44 AM

I am surprised at the lack of memory and parochialism of many people reporting this. In 1983 an I95 bridge over the Mianus river in Connecticut collapsed into the river killing several people. I am saddened that many well educated people think this newest disaster is unique. It isn’t,

Posted by Tom Shipley | August 2, 2007 8:18 AM

I hear the death toll is down to 4 now, which is good to hear.

My brother is up there and uses (er... used) that bridge quite often. It was good to hear from him last night.

Definitely shades of 9/11 in regards to not being able to get a call into the city because of high traffic.

Posted by unclesmrgol | August 2, 2007 10:18 AM

My thoughts are similar to those of lexhamfox -- thinking of the victims and their families.

Posted by MarkW | August 2, 2007 11:07 AM

Whatever the problem turns out to be, it will be something that has been building for years. The idea that a cut in the maintenance budget, a couple of months ago, is the cause, is so ludicrous, that only a liberal could possibly come up with it.

Posted by newton | August 2, 2007 12:23 PM

I am so glad that your family is OK, Cap'n.

My heartfelt thoughts and prayers go to the victims, the survivors and their families.

Posted by Spec Bowers | August 5, 2007 5:20 PM

>The bridge's deck truss has not experienced fatigue cracking, but it has many poor fatigue details on the main truss and floor truss system.

Can someone explain what a fatigue "detail" is?

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