August 1st, 2008
12:24 PM ET

Minneapolis Bridge Collapse: Then & Now

David M. Reisner
AC360° Digital Producer

One year ago today the nation saw one of the worst bridge collapses in a generation.
The Interstate 35W bridge collapse killed 13 people and injured more than 100...

Just this week, the National Transportation Safety Board released new evidence in the collapse investigation. One of its findings revealed that a plate connecting the support beams under the bridge had fractured along a section that was corroded. This was a concern that state officials had in fact realized... 15 years ago... but did not see as 'critical' to repair.

The board did not draw any conclusions about what exactly caused last summer's collapse... But as people plan memorials today for the victims, where are we one year later in Minneapolis? Today a skeleton of the new bridge spans the river where the old one once stood… You can see the progress that has been made in one year in these ‘Then & Now” photos I put together.

But where are we one year later in America? Days after the collapse calls came from every town, city, and state official for ‘immediate repairs’ to other bridges… and still, two out of three of the busiest bridges in the United States. ... with known problems… have had no work done beyond regular maintenance …

Program Note: CNN’s Campbell Brown investigates the nation's crumbling infrastructure in a special report, "Roads to Ruin: Why America is Falling Apart." Special guests include California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell. Friday, 8 p.m. ET

soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. Annie Kate

    So are we waiting on each bridge to collapse before we repair it? Why can the government for once be proactive and do this BEFORE anyone else dies rather than after? Why do we fund bridge inspections if we don't do anything with the results? Sounds like stupidity to me.

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    August 1, 2008 at 9:23 pm |
  2. Jonathan

    Why does it seem we never learn from our mistakes? Does another bridge need to collapse before public infrastructure becomes an issue? How come we have not heard a single news story about what is now happening to the people living in the flood plains of the Missouri and Mississippi river? How has FEMA helped them, since responsibility clearly falls on the state and federal government? We KNOW that our infrastructure is crumbling. Early in the primary debates I remember Obama discuss reinvesting in infrastructure to stimulate the economy. This issue has disappeared, even with the economy being issue #1. Instead of being reactive, we need to be more proactive. FEMA is a joke.

    August 1, 2008 at 6:32 pm |
  3. Sharon from Indy

    I appreciate the before and after photos on the AC360 Blog!

    Are Americans playing "Russian Roulette" driving on American bridges?

    August 1, 2008 at 5:39 pm |
  4. Victor in Saanich, B.C. Canada

    War and space but not infrastructure... a strange society indeed!!

    August 1, 2008 at 5:29 pm |
  5. Larry

    Yep, as the saying goes; if it aint broke, why fix it.

    August 1, 2008 at 4:58 pm |
  6. Tim from Wichita, KS

    I like how you said that John... 'tombstone mentality'. The same is true of unprotected railroad crossings! It took 3 separate death accidents at a crossing in Wichita, KS before the powers that be finally put up lights and crossbars! Somehow we need to move our country's leadership at all levels back to the 'proactive' mindset instead of the 'reactive'.

    August 1, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  7. John

    America can't fix the other bridges because no one has died on them yet. This country has a tombstone mentality that says until someone has actually been crusheed by a falling bridge no need to fix it.

    August 1, 2008 at 3:59 pm |
  8. Ashley H

    It seems that the bridge construction is coming along the well.I cant believe the bridge collapse was a year ago today.If America can fix this bridge, why can't they fix the others?

    August 1, 2008 at 2:44 pm |