35W Destruction

After toying with what to do this weekend throughout the course of the week, at the last minute, I actually decided to go home. I really needed to get up to UW-Eau Claire and retrieve my bowling ball, which was in my little brother's possession, and while together, we decided to go the extra couple of driving hours to reach Minneapolis.

Today on the way, we stopped off in downtown Minneapolis and took a look at something I didn't get around to doing when I was home last time. I think that was around 2 months ago.

We took a look at what was left of the 35W bridge that had collapsed into the Mississippi River on that July Thursday evening around 6pm.

Parallel to the 35W bridge is another bridge about 200 feet away that connects part of the yuppie downtown area to dinkeyville and the UofM on the other side of the river. We ended up parking a block or two away from the north foot of that bridge in the fraternity sector of campus and begin to make our way south along the bridge overlooking the disaster.

Here's the northern foot of 35W, collapsed into a train yard. Those two train cars were udderly crushed from the weight of the bridge and its rush hour inhabitants. Here's a closeup:

There were two very large chunks of the bridge still left for disposal. The closest chunk used to lay atop one of the shelves at the base of the river. When I first saw this chunk, i thought, "jesus.. no wonder this crappy bridge feel apart." Honestly, that bridge has got to be the most brittle construction job ever done.

It looks like 35W was nothing but a thin slap of concrete stretching all the way across the Mississippi being held up by a couple steel beems balancing on 3 or 4 raised shelves. This bridge should've been torn down years ago and replaced.. I guess time did that for them.

Further down, all the metal beems that linked itself to this whole chunk were absolutely warped, crushed, bent, squished, etc..

In the river, another team was worked on pulling part of the bridge emerged in the water.

and further on in that picture is that other most solid chunk left of the wreckage

It's really bizarre to think that a heavily used highway was there only 2 months ago. In another month, it'll look like it just disappeared. A few months ago that, construction crews will start building it's replacement. I'll probably be back up in Minneapolis in another 2 or 3 months, so I'll take some updated shots.

This parallel bridge had plenty of gaukers, by the way..

It was the perfect perch for everyone to see everything below.. The road was completely divided up to give citizens an easy view. Or more than just a view...

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