Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Every time I cross this bridge, I remember January 26, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 5:00 AM
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Southbound on Interstate 35W over the Mississippi River near downtown Minneapolis.

Southbound on Interstate 35W over the Mississippi River near downtown Minneapolis on a recent Sunday afternoon.

6:05 p.m.

A section of the then now wow exhibit at the Minnesota History Center in St. Paul features the 35W bridge collapse. This image shows the collapsed bridge and the emergency exit door from a school bus that was on the bridge when it collapsed.

A section of the “then now wow” exhibit at the Minnesota History Center in St. Paul features the 35W bridge collapse. The image shows the collapsed bridge. To the right is the emergency exit door from the school bus that was on the bridge when it collapsed. Everyone on board that bus survived.

August 1, 2007.

All the children and adults on the bus signed the door on display.

All the children and adults on the bus signed the door on display.

One hundred forty-five injured.

Thirteen dead.

Copyright 2015 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

 

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21 Responses to “Every time I cross this bridge, I remember”

  1. Dan Traun Says:

    That was a terrible ordeal.

  2. Beth Ann Says:

    I think it is one of those things that you will never forget. Kind of like where you were when you heard the news of the planes hitting the towers on 9/11. A part of history that is a sad part but a part all the same.

  3. Marneymae Says:

    Makes my eyes wince
    The connections – remembering
    Poignant

  4. It was a shock to all of us around the country because our crumbling infrastructure is a nationwide problem. There but for the grace of God….

  5. I remember watching the news clips in horror. The same horror from 9/11.

  6. hotlyspiced Says:

    I remember you sharing about this bridge collapse a while ago. I hadn’t heard of it so I looked it up and what a horrific accident. Those who survived must have terrible PTSD. And so tragic for the families who lost loved ones. I never enjoy crossing bridges or going through tunnels as you just never know xx

  7. heartbreaking and life changing. The people that were hurt and killed and family members left to count the dead and bury them. A huge narrative.

  8. chlost Says:

    We were just at the History Center this past weekend and saw that emergency door. A very unique way to memorialize that event. My daughter also had just passed over the bridge a few minutes before it went down. I feel uncomfortable crossing almost every bridge now, unless I know it was built within the past 10 years or so.

    • I thought the display of that signed bus door really personalized the tragedy in a way that we can all relate to.

      How personally frightening for your daughter that she drove over the bridge only minutes before its collapse. I can understand why you now approach bridges with trepidation.

  9. Thread crazy Says:

    I do so remember watching the news report about the collapsed bridge. Such a tragic situation and a shame it takes that to bring our deteriorating infrastructure to light.


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