Ugh

Thanks to the collapse of the 35W bridge just northeast of downtown Minneapolis, all of us in the Twin Cities will get to figure out just how stressed our transportation network can get when one major traffic artery is shut down. It’s bizarre to see a bridge that I’ve driven over hundreds (if not thousands) of times littering the bottom of the river. Highway 94 will get a hell of a lot more traffic on it for the next year or three while debris from the old bridge is removed and the new one is constructed.

I’ll be really, really curious to see if this event causes state & local governments to promote ridesharing and bus transit to try and take pressure off of 94 and other area freeways.

My personal work commute doesn’t leave Washington County, so I feel lucky that I’ll get to experience this as a spectator rather than a participant, as it’s going to be ugly for quite a while. My sister, who works at the University, won’t be so lucky I think.

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5 Responses to Ugh

  1. Dan says:

    I occasionally travel to the cities for work and drive thru on the way to my GF’s hometown of Eau Claire, WI and have driven over this bridge dozens of times myself. The pictures are incredible and can’t believe more people weren’t killed or seriously hurt. The work drive time is already hectic around the cities before this happened and can only imagine they are going to get very bad. Hopefully they encourage more public transport and bicycling to ease the burden.

  2. Bart says:

    I saw the press conference the mayor & governor gave, and they were both indicating that they expect the death toll to rise overnight. Considering th bridge fell during rush hour, though, it’s amazing there weren’t mass casualties.

    Minneapolis has a good amount of bike commuters already… the issue will be with the thousands of people who live 25 miles or more away from downtown and rely on the 35W bridge. There’s no way they’ll be bike commuting.

  3. Jim says:

    I see potential for more bike commuting. Some of the folks who live further away may do well to look into multi-modal transport that includes a bicycle. There are three bike/ped crossings nearby that can get thousands of people out of the traffic snarls along the car bridges.

  4. Bart says:

    I know a few people who do the multi-modal commute right now… one person does car/bus, another one does bike/bus/bike. I’m sure we’ll see a rise in the number of people who do that. There will still be many commuters who will be complaining about the longer commutes and how it’s ‘not fair’, etc.

  5. Emme says:

    Good to hear that you weren’t near the collapse! Many friends and relatives travel the bridge – we have heard from many.

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