In the wake of the tragedy on bridge I-35W in Minneapolis, reports are surfacing and the finger is being pointed in all directions. As early as 1996, concerns were raised regarding the safety of the bridge, four years later engineers suggested the bridge be redecked or even replaced. After the 1996 findings, the bridge was inspected annually but little was done to repair the damage that was found. The bridge was under repairs when it buckled, but only to fix the curbs, lighting, and potholes, 11 years after the first report.
This not only raises awareness in Minnesota but now cities around the country are looking into reports regarding local bridges. Who is to blame for this incident, the inspectors, Minnesota Transportation Commissioner Carol Molnau, Mayor R.T. Rybak? Each person involved suggests they would never put the safety of individuals in front of repair costs, but asked for alternative solutions other than those given during the time of inspections. All too often when tragedy strikes, hind-sight is 20/20.
So now, it’s time to point the fingers. Who will step up and take the blame? Who will admit error? Once people move past the initial grief stage, the anger stage surfaces and law suits begin. Is there any one person or department that can be blamed for this? Or is it just devastating catastrophe that the families and loved ones of those lost will have to deal with once the bridge is repaired. The state failed to address these issues and in order to move forward, someone will have to take the fall for this and stop denying fault. — Courtney Lawrence