Two years ago tonight... The unthinkable happened. 13 people were killed and 145 injured when the 35W bridge unexpectedly collapsed into the Mississippi River.
The devastation that followed — brought concerns about the nation's infrastructure to the forefront.
Today's two year anniversary will pass without much fanfare. There is no memorial scheduled .. In order to give the families affected by the collapse.. A chance not to forget.. But to move on. Here's KARE 11's Renee Tessman.
The top of gold medal park offers a view of where the old 35w bridge collapsed…
“I came up to this park in the weeks afterwards when the park was just recently opened and there were flowers bouquets everywhere little notes peoples remembrance reminders accumulating over time and it was incredibly moving extremely moving.”
That memorial is gone but looking at the new bridge from the quiet park today, the tragedy has perhaps offered a new perspective.
“From my perspective it really changed the entire public attitude toward what needs to be done with public transportation people started taking it seriously.”
Many here on this two year anniversary may not have known someone in the collapse but are still affected.
While a new bridge that exudes strength now spans the river...
“Well it's beautiful and I'm so glad that we came together quickly and got it built.”
Just downstream at the bohemian flats park,
“We notice it every time we go by.”
Rusty reminders of the former bridge and its weakness remain.
“Well it's a symbol of something that has gone terribly wrong with our government in the sense that the bridge inspections failed to detect the weakness in the bridge”
These pieces remain as lawsuits get worked out.. Meantime those directly affected by the collapse ask for no memorial but the chance to simply move on.
“I did run into one bridge collapse survivor here at gold medal park today who didn't want to go on camera but said he felt like he needed to be here today. And when I asked him how he was doing he hesitated and said well it gets a little easier with each year that passes.”
The rest of us don't need these kinds of reminders to remember the victims and survivors.
“Of course we're thinking of them and they're in our prayers today...”