I-35W Bridge Disaster: Five Years Later

There have been a lot of stories related to the five-year anniversary of the I-35W Bridge Disaster in Minneapolis, MN. On this day five years ago, the steel cantilever deck truss bridge collapsed during rush hour as many people were either returning home from work or attending a baseball game. 13 people were killed and more than 150 people were injured in that crash. The bridge collapsed severed the most important north-south link through Minneapolis and it would take over a year and a half until the new bridge was completed and opened to traffic. The tragedy created an outcry that the US was not doing enough to maintain its bridges and other infrastructure. It even started a crusade to eradicate structurally deficient bridges, in particular, the truss and cantilever bridges. Yet by the same token, it created awareness about the importance of preserving our past artifacts and has opened new opportunities for engineers, historians, technicians and bridge-lovers alike. While there is a lot to say about how things have changed in the five years since the tragedy, but I compiled an article which will describe the successes and shortcomings we have had since that time. While we haven't had a tragedy as severe as this one since 2007, we want to make sure that not only our bridges are safe, but our historic bridges receive just as much care as all the others. So read this narrative and think about what we have accomplished, what we should accomplish and what is yet to come in the next five years and beyond. Enjoy.



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