35W Bridge over the Mississippi has collapsed.

In the summer of 1967 it looked like this, while still under construction. (That bridge on the right is the Cedar Ave. Bridge.)

In the summer of 2006 it looked like this. (You can see the Cedar Ave Bridge on the far side.)

Tonight it looks like this (and no one is sure why). (The fragments on the left are what remains of the 35W Bridge.)

[UPDATE: Heard from one of my sisters via e-mail. It looks like most of my large and unruly birth-family were well away from the disaster. Not everyone has checked in, though; cell-phone service has been disrupted, apparently (probably by the massive “Hey! Are you all right!” call-in, to which we contributed, in our wisdom).]

About JE

James Enge is the author of the World-Fantasy-Award-nominated novel Blood of Ambrose (Pyr, April 2009). His latest book is The Wide World's End. His short fiction has appeared in Swords and Dark Magic (Harper Collins, 2010), Black Gate, the Stabby-Award-winning anthology Blackguards and elsewhere.
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10 Responses to 35W Bridge over the Mississippi has collapsed.

  1. fpb says:

    Lord, grant them everlasting rest, and may eternal light shine unto them. May them rest in peace. Amen.

    • JE says:

      Amen.

      The news this AM is strangely encouraging: the number of confirmed deaths may be as low as 4. That’s not nothing, but it could so easily have been much worse.

  2. kythiaranos says:

    Yikes. I hope you hear from everyone soon.

    • JE says:

      Thanks! My people seem to have lucked out, although one of my brothers had a hair-raising story which I’ll post if he gives me permission.

  3. al_zorra says:

    You must be so relieved to learn your family is safe.

    One wonders though, if the victims of this disaster known to the powers that pee on us all was in the making will get blamed for what happened to them as the victims of the broken levees have been blamed.

    Love, C.

    • JE says:

      “You must be so relieved to learn your family is safe.”

      Yes, thanks.

      “One wonders though, if the victims of this disaster known to the powers that pee on us all was in the making will get blamed for what happened to them as the victims of the broken levees have been blamed.”

      Some political wriggling has already begun. I saw Gov. Pawlenty on the news talking about last year’s (!) inspection of the bridge by MN-DoT. His manner was somewhere between Don’t blame ME! and This isn’t really happening. Go back to sleep. It’s all just a crazy dream…

      I suspect that it will be harder to blame the victims on this one. For one thing, their communities haven’t been destroyed, the way the low-lying neighborhoods of New Orleans were. Politicians are always eager to save “the lives of millions of registered voters” as the political philosopher Dr. Peter Venckman memorably phrased it. But displaced people can be swept into any dark corner that embarrassed officials find convenient.

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