Unbelievable is the first and only word that seems to come to my mind and the minds of many others today. It’s all we’ve been able to say. Unbelievable.

We mourn the tragic loss of life. A freakish way to go, and probably preventable. But it seems like the focus on fatalities — from the first chaotic press conference at 9 p.m. last night through the newspaper headlines this morning — is a diversion, in a sense. What we all really lost was a sense of confidence that goes when something you take for granted fails you in a big way. Unbelievable.

As Senator Amy Klobuchar said more than once this morning, “A bridge in America should not just fall down.”

I was with a bunch of friends last night and most of us spent a lot of time on our cell phones with people around the Twin Cities, talking when we could get through, otherwise doing a lot of text messaging. Checking with everyone we knew to make sure they weren’t hurt or worse. Of course, everyone was fine. The probability that we knew someone affected in these cities of 2 million is extremely low, but the point was that we have all driven over that bridge more times than we can count. And then it just fell down. Unbelievable.

It was amazing that less than two hours after it happened, the news had quite literally spread around the globe. The sad counterpart to that fact is that by next week, this will be old news. As fast as information disseminates in this day and age, our attention spans dwindle and dwindle to almost nothing.

In the next couple weeks I think Rosie and I will have to get down there where we can see it with our own eyes. I’ve seen hundreds of photos now, but, no, I still just can’t believe it.

[tags]bridge collapse, I-35W, minneapolis[/tags]

6 thoughts on “Unbelievable

  1. Terry

    Like you I have traversed that bridge more times than I can count. It has been one of my favorite Mississippi crossing points, because of the nice view of the skyline and the falls (If you dared to take your eyes off the road long enough).

    I’ve spent some time under that bridge too, river fishing. What the sky footage doesn’t show well is that this was a pretty big bridge. Klobuchar is right. In America, bridges shouldn’t “Just fall down.”

  2. Greg Post author

    That’s something I forgot to mention, just how damn big this bridge was. So massive. That’s a major factor in how unbelievable it is that it just fell down.

    I also always liked driving across it because of that nice view it afforded. It could be a little sketchy to take your eyes off the road, but it was always worth a glance…

    Nice post on your blog about it. To paraphrase my wife, I think this story has resonated so globally because pretty much everyone can relate to it: we all drive on bridges, we all take them for granted.

  3. Deb

    You hit on it so well when you mentioned the sudden loss of confidence in what we take for granted. Especially with no clear reason why. if it could be clearly blamed on terrorism, then in some strange sense we might all feel a bit “better” about it, but everyone is clueless for now.

    I think I’ll take the low bridge over the Kettle River tonight.

  4. Greg Post author

    The politics of all this are already heating up, which seems a little quick, but there is something to be said when our very infrastructure starts to crumble around us. A wake-up call I would think…

    Anyway, I saw in the report that the governor was ordering immediate inspection of all “similar” bridges in the state that there is one listed in Sandstone… if that’s your option for crossing the Kettle, I think I’d go with the low one too.

  5. Deb

    The bridge I avoided was 123- the one on the list for inspection. I guess they inspected it already today. Luckily it’s actually shorter if I take the Highway 23 bridge, the low one.

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