Minnesotans Pause on 5-Year Anniversary of 35W Bridge Collapse
Aug. 1, 2007, is a day many Minnesotans will never forget. Wednesday marks five years since the Interstate-35W bridge collapsed, killing 13 people and injuring more than 100 others.
Gov. Mark Dayton ordered all U.S. flags and Minnesota flags to be flown at half-staff today for the anniversary. The flags flying over state and federal buildings will be lowered from sunrise to sunset.
The 35W Bridge Memorial in Minneapolis is dedicated to those who died or were injured when the bridge fell into the Mississippi five years ago. The anniversary is also marked by a legacy of beefed up bridge inspections across the country and here in Minnesota.
The Minnesota arts community is also mounting several works to mark the anniversary. Their work will be on display in an exhibition called "Bridge" to be unveiled at the Mill City Museum on Aug. 1. It features photographs and interviews of survivors, first responders and others by artist Vance Gellert. He spent two years on the project.
Gellert's interviews were used by other artists, who created a 10-minute play, a musical composition and five poems.
Mayor R.T. Rybak will be among public officials speaking at the unveiling.
The collapse five years ago highlighted the dangers of deteriorating roads and bridges. On Tuesday, MnDOT bridge inspectors looked over a span across Interstate-494 in Bloomington. They say they’ve made advances in bridge safety in the past five years. Minnesota has changed its inspections, tightened its rules, and began replacing or repairing some of the state’s bridges that need the most attention.
They also now require independent reviews of design work, which is more expensive, but MnDOT says it’s money well spent.
Experts and survivors believe Minnesota now has a greater chance of catching problems before another tragedy.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.
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- Minnesotans Pause on 5-Year Anniversary of 35W Bridge Collapse
- SLIDESHOW: 'Bridge' Exhibit Opens at Mill City Museum
- 5 Years After Collapse, Beefed Up Bridge Inspections in U.S.
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