Thursday, August 2, 2007


Minnesota officials were warned as early as 1990 that the bridge that plummeted into the Mississippi River was "structurally deficient," yet they relied on a strategy of patchwork fixes and stepped-up inspections.

"We thought we had done all we could," state bridge engineer Dan Dorgan told reporters not far from the mangled remains of the span. "Obviously something went terribly wrong." (SHARON COHEN and BRIAN BAKST, Associated Press Writers)

I know that the media is just trying to give us someone to blame... and it worked on me. I was so mad that they knew there was a problem, and that the problems were getting worse. That the stress, fatigue, and the constant use went on with little-to-no change other than temporary patches and fixes. They could have saved 75 injuries, 4 deaths, and the 30 missing people, and a lot of anguish had they listened to the warning and just replaced the bridge.

Then I started thinking about that. How often do I use temporary patches for the things I am responsible for. I think about my car, my marriage, my son, myself. There are those times when things just happen, but most often I know that there is something wrong, that threatens its capacity, and what do I do when I know?

So there is the question. Can we blame "them?" Or, should we learn from "their" mistake? Its expensive to build a new bridge, or maintain a car, or take time off of work. It is an inconvenience to have to shut down a bridge to build a new one, or go to the temple, or find a babysitter, or clean the carpet. I guess I have to decide to blame them and learn from it, or realize that I am just as guilty as they are.

At any rate, I think its sad that "we" ignore the warning signs, and that what we think is "all we could do" is really "all we could without spending lots of money and causing a huge inconvenience."

Update: 100 injured, 5 dead, 8 missing according to MPR.

1 comment:

The Jones :) said...

Good job Phatty...what a good way to look at it and put it. Thank you for really got me thinking thank you!!!
-Becki :)