Thursday, August 02, 2007

A highway bridge in Minneapolis collapsed last night sending cars and people crashing into the Mississippi River last night at rush hour. This horror, more than other recent horrors I've read and heard bout, freaks me out. Bridges aren't supposed to collapse - so many things that happen in the world shouldn't happen - but bridges crumbling under cars and cars tumbling into river disturbs me in some out of proportion way. Maybe its partly because during the recent family road trip KK called me twice on big bridges, excitedly proclaiming that they were crossing the M-I-S-S-I-S-S-I-P-P-I river, a river whose crossing always impresses me. I didn't cross it myself until I was thirty.

. I keep imagining terrified kids strapped into car seats, plummeting into churning waters, and frantic parents struggling to rescue their children. I worry that I would not be able to do the right things fast enough in an emergency like that and that children would die because of my ineptitude.

There are only seven dead at this point, fewer than in many incidents of violence here and especially in other parts of the world - but this particular image of horror has me shaken. Partly, I don't understand it the way I understand it the way I understand damage from tornadoes, hurricanes and earthquakes. Also, bridges aren't supposed to collapse, bridges connect.

Bridges connect.
I take them for granted.
Bridges of promises,
terms of endearment,
shared experience,
steel girders, concrete.
Can't take them for granted.
Bridges collapse.

I need to muster the discipline to go to bead - avoiding bridge collapse dreams, I think.

1 comment:

Ruth said...

It is a creepy thing (especially given the news article talking about the 6 bridges in Williamson county that are "substandard" and have the same quality rating as the one that collapses--don't worry all the ones in Willamson are okay). It's baffling to think that we can spend $10mill a year on inspecting Texas bridges and 6 right near me can still be in that state! 13% of American bridges (or one out of 8 depending on who you ask) are "structurally defiecent". Strange to think that 72,983 bridges in the US have worse ratings than the one that collapsed! (I'm grateful here to live in Texas where that % is less---unlike OK, Penn, and Rhode Island).

I'm interested to hear what Dave and Margie have to say about all this.

I feel horrible for the children too. It's uplifting to hear from the children on the school bus and see their happy faces live.

I suspect that in an emergency situation.