August 1st, 2007
This afternoon the 8 lane Interstate 35-west bridge crossing the Mississippi river collapsed near downtown Minneapolis, a few hundred meters from where I work.

My neighbor called me up to see if I was OK, she told me about what happened, I jumped on my bicycle and rode like hell to get down there to provide my assistance - I do have fire/flooding/nuclear casualty experience and training from my Navy days. The police politely let me know that my assistance was not required.

As a mechanical engineer I look up in awe every time I ride my bicycle under this bridge, something I've done 1000+ times. I took a specific interest in this bridge when studying Statics and then Dynamics, specifically at the awesome pivot points of the bridge columns at the south end. I have also studied all the utility lines running directly under this now collapsed bridge - especially the high capacity electricity lines running directly under the roadway. I understand from people I spoke to that the lights flickered a few times, but alternate and cross-connected power lines were sufficiently in place to minimize disruptions to nearby homes and businesses.

This isn't supposed to happen. Something extraordinary occurred - this is sophomore/junior level undergraduate engineering here...
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