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August 02, 2007


Dan Lietha

Thanks for the report Mark. You and your family came to mind when I heard the news.


Oh, wow, I didn't know you lived around there. Glad you and yours are all right.


Wow. I've been isolated from the real world today, and this is the first I'm hearing of this. Terrible.


Mark Engblom

Yeah, we're all still trying to wrap our heads around it here. I might try to get near it this weekend to take a look...maybe then it'll seem real.


Glad to hear you and yours are okay, Mark.

While we can all grieve for the loss of life, I also hope that such a thing will be a wake-up call to our governments that infrastructures are very much deteriorating (it's the same in Canada - a bridge fell in Quebec this year) and need to be looked after. There's really no reason why things like this should happen in the modern world.

I'm with you about the media. Too many vultures in that business, which is one of the reasons I left it 3 years ago.


Glad to hear that you and yours are ok. I think this freaks everyone out so much because bridges and overpasses are so much a part of our everyday lives that we don't even think about them. We just assume that they are all structurally safe and sound.

That appears now not to be the case.

I read that two years ago the Interstate 35W span rated 50 on a scale of 100 for structural stability and was classified as "structurally deficient." I wonder how many people knew this.

Why is it the government forces Mcdonalds to tell me how much fat is in a Big Mac, but the government wont tell us how unsafe our roads really are?

When I go home to California, every restaurant there has to display the letter grade they received from the health inspector. They should do this with bridges.

Once again, I'm glad you are ok.

Mark Engblom

Though I agree that our infrastructure needs some serious upgrades and much more priority than it usually receives, I think it's worth waiting until the bodies are recovered and the damage dealt with before the theories, indictments and grand solutions are offered.

Obviously, they're being unleashed anyway...proving once again than no event is except from the projection of the narrowest, most reductive political agendas.

I'm not saying that to you guys so much as to everthing else swirling around the situaton in the parallel universe of the local/national media. I'm sure positive change will come out of the tragedy regarding bridge safety and maintainence, but I feel an element of hysteria and panic is seeping into the conversation...where calmness and logic need to prevail.

Everyone knows that every square inch of infrastructure can't be maintained to perfection, since we don't have the money, man power, political will or virtual omniscience required to pull that off. In an age when transportation budgets are being gutted for bright, shiny "political legacy" projects like lightrail and only a fraction of the gas/highway taxes actually even go to fixing highway infrastructure, our priorities clearly need realignment.

But all of that should happen after each and every body is recovered from that river. If only our petty, distracted leaders and ambulance-chasing, craven media could comprehend that sort of respect, dignity and maturity....rather than running around in full Chicken Little mode condemning bridges and opposing political parties.


Definitely. It is shameful how they are exploiting tragedy for ratings. I really don't need to see images of it over and over and over, so I'm sure the families of those affected don't. It's a question of respect.

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