Friday, August 1, 2008

One Year Later

I will never forget August 1, 2007. It was a beautiful summer day. Neither Uncas or I felt like cooking that night, so off we went to eat some Pad Thai at a restaurant. When we returned home, our neighbor asked us if we had watched the news. I remember thinking to myself - now how would we be watching the news when we just pulled up in our car?! He told us part of 35W had collapsed! What?! That caught my attention - Where? Over the Mississippi River . . . oh - we hadn't heard that news. I could even remember thinking - where is that at? I used 35W every day going to work, but was getting off just two exits from that section. I honestly couldn't think of what section he was talking about. So of course we rushed inside to turn on the tv. And before we did that, we got out our cell phones to call our parents - we're ok.

All night we were glued to the tv. What are we going to do? How am I going to get to work? How will we get to Duluth? I wonder if I know anyone who was there. And of course, the immense sadness of the whole tragedy. The next day, everyone on my bus going to work was very quiet. As we pulled onto 35W the bus driver made the announcement that our route would be detoured because they had closed off a very large section of 35W. When I arrived at work it was check in time and relief that everyone was ok in our department. That day over lunch a group of us walk down to look at the bridge. It literally looked like a movie set - it seemed very unreal.

I am reminded of the bridge collapse every day. I take 35W and see the orange road signs "Road Closed Ahead - must exit" as I go to and from work. I see the tall cranes in a distance. The detour is starting to seem like no big deal. There is so much construction on 35W (not even from the bridge collapse, but closer to home), I can't even remember what it was like before. But here we are, a year later. The bridge is nearly complete - scheduled to open in late September. I wonder when the new bridge opens if I will stop thinking about it as much? When we cross over the Mississippi on Washington Ave, will I stop looking over in the direction of the collapse?

Here is a picture of the new bridge:

No comments: