Cubical-aka-Moltar

Breaking news: I35 bridge collapses in Minnieapolis..

37 posts in this topic

Yikes! I know this will spur a lot of debate locally over the SR520 Bridge replacement across Lake Washington along with the pending Alaska Way Viaduct replacement (SR99)

Both are falling apart pending complete replacements. If we have a somewhat major earthquake within the next 5 years or so, both could collapse.

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Holy cow! I have a ton of friends that live up in the Twin Cities area...I hope none of them were on it!

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that's just horrible, saw it on tv. is this the state of our infrastructure?!! unknown when it can fall down? i wonder who's going to be blamed... poor funding from the state, is it "bush's" fault again (i'm joking there), terrorists (joking again), or did something happen that prone to collapse? we'll se the fallout of this by the weekend i'm sure.

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that's just horrible, saw it on tv. is this the state of our infrastructure?!! unknown when it can fall down? i wonder who's going to be blamed... poor funding from the state, is it "bush's" fault again (i'm joking there), terrorists (joking again), or did something happen that prone to collapse? we'll se the fallout of this by the weekend i'm sure.

You know, I remember an article a while ago saying that 85% of America's roads received a D or lower letter grade. Now I can see why. Considering most of America's interstate highways were built in the 50s, 60s, and 70s, I wonder how much longer before something like this happens again. Edited by mustang84
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The bridge is (was) not really that old (about 40 years - not that old for a bridge), so it's likely to be more of a maintenance or design question. A 40 year old bridge with proper design and maintenance should still be fine.

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Not to throw a tacky car angle....but.....

Nah, I won't go there, unless folks here feel it's OK to.

On another note though, the NBC Nightly News broadcast here had one of the rougher edits I've ever seen for a western edition.

Anyone else wondered, before the rule out, if terrorists would think of Minneapolis?

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One of my friends lives a mile from the bridge and sent me some pics taken from her apartment. Luckily she was at home at the time it collapsed, but she crossed the bridge half an hour before it collapsed! :blink:

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Edited by mustang84
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Wow. Just wow.

That really sucks.

It makes me wonder about the state of our bridges...

And they just ruled out terrorist.....

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i'm glad the bridge in our town over the river was just replaced about 5 years ago, nice to see my town get international news recognition for the botched demolition of the old one. lol. oh, our old one was nearing 70years old i think.

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just got back into town got off the plane and the first thing i see in the airport is this.

man, this sucks.

i will say this though. i've always HATED going on that bridge. it was HIGH up in the air and the side guardrails were very low and there is hardly any shoulders on that (former) stretch of road. its like one of the 3 or so bridges around here I hate. never knowing ahead of time about this accident, i would have been majorly freaked and scared if i had to stay stopped on that bridge for a long time.

CNN is at least doing an educated reporting job. the local stations are absolutely terrible at this stuff.

i hope this doesn't get political.

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Holy cow! I have a ton of friends that live up in the Twin Cities area...I hope none of them were on it!

*nods*

Same thing here....

Heh ... if I "blame" the internet and groups and message boards for anything ... it is for feeling "instantly connected" to just about any major incident such as this ... and wondering if people you know both personally and from online groups/boards are OK....

I first heard about the collapse on Chicago's WGN radio ... during a break in the baseball game [incidentally, Cubs won ... and are tied for 1st place with the Brewers]. I flipped the radio over to Chicago's WBBM radio ... and they were simulcasting from MN's WCCO radio. I immediately thought of our family there ... one of Dad's brothers and most of his family (including 8 kids and a bunch of grandchildren) are in the area. Luckily, nobody was in the wreckage, though one of them had driven over that section of I-35W just 20 minutes before the collapse.

I then thought of a number of people I know from various message boards who live in the MN area. Hope all of them are doing well.... Thoughts/prayers coming to all those affected by this.

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just got back into town got off the plane and the first thing i see in the airport is this.

man, this sucks.

i will say this though. i've always HATED going on that bridge. it was HIGH up in the air and the side guardrails were very low and there is hardly any shoulders on that (former) stretch of road. its like one of the 3 or so bridges around here I hate. never knowing ahead of time about this accident, i would have been majorly freaked and scared if i had to stay stopped on that bridge for a long time.

CNN is at least doing an educated reporting job. the local stations are absolutely terrible at this stuff.

i hope this doesn't get political.

I hear ya. I always felt a little wierd on that bridge as well. My cousin takes that stretch of road every day to get to work, but luckily he was safely at home by the time it happened. I tried calling him right after it happened just to check up on him and I think I tried over 50 times by the time my call actually went through.

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Luckily, nobody was in the wreckage, though one of them had driven over that section of I-35W just 20 minutes before the collapse.

oh man, 20 minutes.....that is scary.

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Ike's freeways are falling to bits...

at least ike believed in investing in the country and infrastructure.........40+ years?

"It was a nice run"

except when it ends like this.

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I wonder what this will do for rush hour traffic with this bridge out of commission...reg, was this route pretty busy?

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I wonder what this will do for rush hour traffic with this bridge out of commission...reg, was this route pretty busy?

I believe the news said at one point that 140k cars a day cross this bridge... I'd call that pretty busy.

*edit* ARGH! I hate stupid comments from reporters. The bridge was stated to be "structurally deficient", and the media is running amok guessing what that means and making stupid statements. The bridge received a score of 50 in its last inspection, and one reporter commented "that's not good - sounds like it had a 50/50 chance of being safe..." That's a load of crap - if the DOT had though it was 50/50, they'd have shut the bridge down. I hate it when idiots speculate about the meaning of things they have no clue about, and then state those speculations on national TV & proceed to anger and scare people with their stupid comments...

Edited by PurdueGuy
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I wonder what this will do for rush hour traffic with this bridge out of commission...reg, was this route pretty busy?

one of the busiest bridges in the state

startribune article...one of my coworkers survived it, ouch, i thought of him when i heard about this....i'm glad he's alive.

Caroline Yankelevich was heading south Wednesday on Interstate Hwy. 35W, sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic on the bridge over the Mississippi River.

Nearby, Kristin West, Louis Rogers and Kevin Kopelki were listening to the radios in their cars as traffic jammed the bridge shortly after 6 p.m.

That's when Yankelevich felt something strange.

"I could kind of feel the bridge shake a little -- it did a little shimmy," she said. "Then the bridge started falling, cars were flying everywhere and I saw the water coming up."

As water from the Mississippi River started to engulf her car, Yankelevich instinctively hit the button to lower her window. She wiggled out the driver's window -- wet, safe and unhurt.

The 29-year-old Minneapolis woman was among dozens of commuters who miraculously survived the collapse of the bridge, which sits high above the water. Authorities were still compiling the number of injured and dead as the rescue effort continued early today.

"All I heard was noise," said West, of Circle Pines, who said she felt as if she were floating when the bridge gave way. Water splashed on her windshield.

"I just thought I was going under and rolled down my windows real quick so maybe I'd have some escape," she said. "Then it stopped."

She got out of her car but there was nowhere to go. A boat eventually pulled her from the wreckage of the collapsed bridge.

"I don't even think I have a scratch on me," she said.

Rogers, 28, like so many of the people involved in the bridge collapse, was on his way home. Rogers was heading to Roseville from the Opus architectural and engineering firm. He was listening to music in his 2000 Chevy Blazer.

"The bridge just gave way," Rogers said. "I didn't hear a sound. It just disappeared."

His SUV wound up about 5 feet from the break in the bridge.

"It made no sound whatsoever, it just collapsed," Rogers said. "It was pretty much like a thud and not a loud thud -- as if you dropped something on the floor two rooms beyond.

"The next thing I know, cars were dropping and there was smoke," he said. "I had 5 feet -- that's it. There's people gone."

Many people said they felt as if they were cast in a surreal earthquake film.

"It was like something out of a movie," said Kopelki, 44, of Shoreview, as his car began to fill with river water. He said another driver helped him from his car, and then the pair looked for others to help.

"The bridge was packed. It was the height of rush hour."

Four agonizing drops

Mary Logan, 70, St. Paul, was in the back seat of a car with visiting relatives and heading toward Roseville from the Mall of America. She felt the car shaking.

"We dropped three or four times," she said. "I was afraid the car would not stop, but thankfully it did."

The car ended up rear end down, right on top of another car. She did not know what happened to the people in the other car.

"Someone yelled that we should get out," said her granddaughter, Logan Winegar, 18. A passerby on a bicycle helped them climb out. Fortunately, all had been wearing seat belts.

Thirteen-year old Jeisy Aguiza was on a school bus operated by Waite House Neighborhood Center. She was with a group of about 60 youngsters who had been at Bunker Beach Water Park in Coon Rapids. They were going south on I-35W when the bridge collapsed.

The bus "just fell," Aguiza said. "We were all scared. I opened my eyes and saw rocks. We were all screaming."

She said that she held onto her little brother Ronal, 7.

"I heard a big noise," Ronal said. "I saw little rocks come in the bus."

The bus landed on its wheels on solid ground. Kids in the back opened the emergency door and rushed out the back.

"We were all just screaming, everyone," she said. "We all ran away from the bus. I'm just glad we didn't all fall in the Mississippi."

Matt Lundquist, president of Top Notch Builders, was coming home from meeting a client and "everything in front of me was gone," he said. "The first jolt startled me, and I knew it wasn't right."

His car was left near the major break on top of the bridge.

Angela Wong was sitting in her car near the bridge's north end when it broke off. She suffered an injury to her left eye. Her 12-year-old son, Myles Tang, was also in the car.

"I saw a sign coming down," Wong said. "The next thing I knew, the road was in a wave. I heard people screaming. Someone was moaning."

Staff writers Terry Collins, Randy Furst, Kevin Giles, James Shiffer and Rohan Preston contributed to this report.

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I believe the news said at one point that 140k cars a day cross this bridge... I'd call that pretty busy.

*edit* ARGH! I hate stupid comments from reporters. The bridge was stated to be "structurally deficient", and the media is running amok guessing what that means and making stupid statements. The bridge received a score of 50 in its last inspection, and one reporter commented "that's not good - sounds like it had a 50/50 chance of being safe..." That's a load of crap - if the DOT had though it was 50/50, they'd have shut the bridge down. I hate it when idiots speculate about the meaning of things they have no clue about, and then state those speculations on national TV & proceed to anger and scare people with their stupid comments...

you cannot BELIEVE the amount of irresponsible reporting going on right now. it's sickening. its worse than the auto rags by a factor of 10.

but one caller into KFAN put it correctly.......if the bridge was unsafe at time of inspection it would shut down.

people who have no study in the field of structures do not understand that concrete cracks, bridges flex, and they do not understand how loads are carried and resisted and how dynamic they are.

I don't understand it most of the time either, but I totally trust the world class structural engineers I work with daily. I was just walking around in a 13 story building yesterday in the middle of construction, they are building the concrete substructure. you worry about stuff happening. you have to trust that events have occured so that you are safe, even though nature and human error are everyday facts of life.

if you want to see a big time bleeding heart liberal journalist go off and lay brame for this tragic event, go to startribune.com and click on the nick coleman article.

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if you want to see a big time bleeding heart liberal journalist go off and lay brame for this tragic event, go to startribune.com and click on the nick coleman article.

That editorial seems right on the money...spending on infrastructure in this country has been ignored for a long time, while money has been wasted on nonsense like Iraq, new stadiums, etc...the article seemed pretty balanced...both political parties are to blame for ignoring infrastructure investments (this is true nation wide).

Edited by moltar
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another co-worker's wife was on the bridge. i think she escaped.

i was talking with a structural engineer here. his theory is that it is primarily a function of expansive stresses on the concrete from multiple days of extreme hot weather, and the there was not enough slack in the joints to make that up and that perhaps it sent improper axial loading through the structure. there was no propoer path for these forces to be handled and then one part let go and the rest followed in quick succession. He thought fatigue over time is also a culprit and that the lack of redundant design in this structure is a big time flaw. His theory was that vibration probably wasn't a factor although some of the jacking from the restoration maybe could have had a minimal contribution.

I've seen interstate sections in rural areas buckle on endless 90+ degree days. As much as the concrete expands, you would not believe how much it expands and how much force is built up until you see big chunks of road buckle.

Edited by regfootball
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Interesting side note that I noticed about this tragedy. This collapsed bridge is like a snapshot in time, and what I noticed about it were the vehicles in MN that the people were driving looked to me to be a majority of GM products. I even saw and 80's Grand Am on the bridge, and in the center section I noticed a black current generation Grand Prix that looked virtually undamaged. I wonder how many people walked away from this bridge because they were driving a GM product. Just a thought I had.

My condolences to all the families affected by this.

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I wonder if current traffic volume had an affect on the bridge's structural integrity due to the weight, etc...I'm sure the volume today is much higher than it was when it was built (or was built to accomodate)... this is a problem I've seen with bridges and freeway overpasses, etc around here..the traffic volume today is much higher than when the roads were originally built.

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I wonder if current traffic volume had an affect on the bridge's structural integrity due to the weight, etc...I'm sure the volume today is much higher than it was when it was built (or was built to accomodate)... this is a problem I've seen with bridges and freeway overpasses, etc around here..the traffic volume today is much higher than when the roads were originally built.

I think it was the Dam that is near this bridge. My hunch is that the water currents from this dam has undermined the bridge or my other hunch is the vibration from the traffic and the railroad that ran underneath it together created a resonance frequency that caused the bridge to buckle and collapse.

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