A Tale of Two Bridges
I realized within seconds of the first aerial shots on CCN from Minneapolis last night that the DF&C and I had been on the southbound span of the I-35 bridge a couple of weeks after the 9/11 attacks on our way back to Kiko’s House from Minnesota's lovely North Country. It took a few minutes for me to ascertain that while the collapse of the northbound span was awful, there appeared to be very little loss of life.
One life lost because of a tired interstate bridge that lost its battle with gravity is one life too many, of course, and I too would be grieving if any of the small handful of victims were loved ones. However, I must say that the outpouring of hyperbole – up to and including descriptions of the collapse as a "a national tragedy" – has me utterly baffled.
But we do live in times that seem to verge on a gross national freak out, so the hyperventilation does fit a pattern.
State and local governments have been deferring maintenance on our crumbling highways, bridges and tunnels for years now because dealing with this crisis-in-waiting would, in many instances, require tax increases that would lead to the inevitable punishment from voters when the next election rolls around. Holding onto power by staying in office is the priority, after all.But I would like to ask a small favor of the bloggers who are all over this story: Is there even the slightest chance that the maintenance of this bridge and the hundreds of others in the Twin Cities had or have been postponed because of the drain of federal funds for a certain $400 billion infrastructure improvement project (see photo) known as the
Please get back to me when you have an answer.