How do you celebrate the year-long effort to recover from a tragedy?
The new I-35W bridge will reopen Tuesday. Now, how do officials open it? Should midnight roll around and the barriers be removed some evening? Should there be a ceremony of some sort? And how would you celebrate the incredible work of rebuilding the bridge while not minimizing the deaths of 13 people in the collapse of the I-35W structure last August?
And what do we call the new bridge? Should it have a name besides "the 35-W bridge"?
If you favor a ceremony, who would you invite? Assuming the governor is there, do you invite any of the DFL lawmakers who engineered the dismissal of his transportation commissioner over the tragedy? If there's a ribbon to be cut, who cuts it?
How about a non-denomination memorial service held on the bridge. No matter how you look at this it is not a celebration. When I first heard the bridge had collapsed, I said to myself no way would an entire bridge collapse. To me whatever can be provided to give some closure to the victims is the only thing that should be done.
"Should midnight roll around and the barriers be removed some evening?"
Yeah, pretty much.
If they hold a fancy ceremony, who pays for it?
Could we name the bridge simply "The Memorial Bridge"? Any public ceremony should include a remembrance of those lost, a recognition of the responders, and a vow to never let something like this happen again.
I think we should drive about three million cars across it. That would be a nice tribute.
How about Mary Lee Hardenbergh, site specific choreographer to make a dance? Mary Lee choreograped a dance for the ground breaking of the weisman museum and every summer solstice she choreographs a dance on the stone arch bridge. Maybe a dance on both bridges so that the stone arch bridge could welcome back the new bridge? reid
I think it should just be one basic and solemn action. 13 Hearses should cross the bridge representing each of those who where lost. They would cross on whichever side (northbound or southbound) they went down on representing the completion of their journey across the bridge.
I think the Governor, Lt Governor and the entire MN Legislature, representing all the people of Minnesota, should walk across the bridge silently, hanging their heads in shame. Carol Molnau can carry the sign that says I'm sorry.
A classy, straight-forward name for the bridge that all Minnesotans could agree upon would be "The Sesquicentennial Bridge."
2008 is the state Sesquicentennial, Minnesota's 150 anniversary of statehood. We have a Centennial Building and a Centennial Steamboat; why not name this monumental construction project in honor of our state's 150th anniversary?
This name would make it easier for future grade school students to remember the year the bridge was finished and perhaps we'd all learn to pronounce the word "Sesquicentennial."
Would the families of the victims really want their loved one's name being forever embedded with plaques commenorating their tragic deaths at this site? Better the names of those in their short-sightedness or lack of concern be so remembered for their acts against the safety of the people who unknowingly, innocently, drove unto the bridge not fearing for the ending of their lives.
Whatever the name of the bridge will be, it will always be subliminally, the You-Go-First Bridge and that point in city river history when citizen is juxtaposed on one side, state official on the other; the latter forever saying a too-late mantra, " come on over. Trust us..."
I suspect no matter what the bridge is named, it will be called "the new bridge" for decades. Every once in a while, i hear/see a reference to "the new zoo" even after nearly 30 years.
We could always kick off the celebration by not vetoing any more public transportation funding.
And what do we call the new bridge?
Mn/DOT named the new bridge the St. Anthony Falls Bridge about the time the RFP was issued (mid-August 2007).
In place of a celebration of the opening of the new I-35 bridge, all of the politicians and government officials that let the collapse happen should have to live on the bridges in the state that are still in need of repair or replacement.