How Did The I-35W Bridge Collapse Affect You?

In the comments, share your memories and the impact it had on you and your town.

Within the span of a few seconds on Aug. 1, 2007, the I-35W bridge, the state's fifth busiest span, became piles of rubble. The effects of that day have reverberated for five years.

Wednesday marks the anniversary of the collapse, which killed 13 and injured 145. If you were in Minnesota at the time, you remember where you were when you heard about the tragedy.

We want to hear your stories. Tell us in the comments how the collapse affected you, your family and your town. What do you remember about that day?

Mallory August 01, 2012 at 04:20 AM
I was working at the University of MN at the time, but didn't take 35W home that day. I had no idea about the collapse until I started getting messages from family members trying to call me while I was outside playing with my kids after work. We answered many phone calls that night (on our land line, the cell phones were jammed). The next morning I was relieved to find that none of my co-workers or anyone I knew from the U was in the collapse. Amazing.
Shawn Wilson August 01, 2012 at 04:34 AM
My wife and I have responded to several major events since 9/11 including Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, the I-35 Bridge Collapse, the Haiti Earthquake and Joplin Tornado. Our job is to recover and identify those lost in these tragic events. It is an all together humbling and life changing experience every time we are called to respond. Within minutes of the bridge collapsing, we had received phone calls from team members across the country mentally preparing for what could have been. Despite the loss of 13 unforgettable souls, we consider ourselves lucky that many more did not die that day. I quietly packed my go bag and returned to work where preparations were being made to intiate our Mass Fatality Plan. Wow! Our plan, not someone elses in some foreign place. This was really happening here in Minnesota. I spent that first night like many others at the scene in shock and in awe at what I was standing in front of. But quietly, we continued to do our work, that which we are trained to do. I had been in New Orleans and the Lower 9th Ward, but this was different. I work 6 blocks from there and used that bridge almost daily. So many people were being reported missing that the Red Cross was writing names on napkins just to keep up with the flood of calls. For the next 3 weeks, me and my colleagues would perform our jobs for each of the 13 victims, returning each one to their families. Remember not only those lost in these events, but those who responded heroically and saved so many.
Michael Rose August 01, 2012 at 01:46 PM
RIP to the 13 people who lost their lives five years ago today. If you're looking to mark the occasion, the Mill City Museum in Minneapolis will be unveiling an exhibit called "Bridge" today at 5:45pm. Mayor RT Rybak is expected to speak at the opening. More details: http://events.mnhs.org/calendar/Results.cfm?EventID=5327&bhcp=1
Danielle Cabot August 01, 2012 at 05:43 PM
I was working at a restaurant without TVs on the floor, and figured out what happened from word of mouth. It's strange to be at work when something awful has happened in the outside world—you can't really just stop what you're doing, though I did try and make some calls. My thoughts now are with the family, friends and rescue workers affected by that day.
Christie Boeder August 06, 2012 at 03:36 AM
I will NEVER forget that evening. We were traveling east on 394 to attend the Guthrie that night - it was the musical 1776. As we drove into downtown, rescue vehicles were zipping by; as we exited into downtown we became ever more aware of the foot traffic, fire trucks, police, ambulances all streaming east towards the 35W Bridge. Personnel from HCMC were heading to the river with an obvious sense of purpose. By that time we had heard all the basic information available on MPR. What struck us was a feeling as if we were a part of a 'disaster movie set' - it seemed so unreal that on such a beautiful Minnesota summer evening that something as major as a bridge collapse had actually happened. As with many Twin Cities residents, I have crossed that bridge too many times to count over the years. Yet I know all too well any one of us could have been crossing the bridge during that time. We kept our 'date' with the Guthrie, saw people we knew and quietly discussed what was happening just a few blocks over. The view from the Guthrie was intimate, yet a bit remote - we all felt it was important to continue and not gawk. It was bittersweet to watch a play about the founding of our country while the tragedy of the collapse was playing out. I will never, ever forget that evening. As it turned out, I know the sister-in-law of one of those lost that evening. Truly we are a very connected community. They are all in my heart to this day.


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