Frankly, I’m not in much of a mood for blogging today, as the Twin Cities absorbs the loss of the 35W bridge and the deaths of at least four and probably a couple of dozen people.

Traffic moved pretty well this morning, thanks to the state essentially turning an alternate highway into a freeway by turning off the traffic lights and blocking access from side streets. A new bridge will probably take two years to build, so they’re also looking at longer-term fixes like turning road shoulders into extra lanes and things like that.

It seems like the bridge just got old and fatigued, and frequent inspections, while noting some issues, failed to spot the problems. Which may simply be a comment on how hard it can be to spot a weakening bridge.

I don’t use the bridge on my commute, but my wife crossed it twice yesterday, earlier in the day.

One of my best friends from college normally is on that bridge around that time, commuting home. After the bridge fell, his wife spent a frantic hour or so trying to locate him, but the cellphone network was overloaded and she couldn’t get through. Finally she sent her brother over to his office to look for his car. They found it; he had gotten stuck in a conference call. The bridge collapse and Twins game letting out meant he didn’t get home until late into the night, but that was far better than the alternative.

Over at Centrisity, a friend of Flash’s was on the centerspan that fell into the river. She’s fine, but flip on over for a picture showing her car.

Meanwhile, the fingerpointing has already begun.

I work just a few blocks from the river. Later tonight I’m going to walk over and take a look.

Politics Close calls