Thursday, August 02, 2007

Bridges and obsessions

I have been told that I am obsessing over the bridge collapse in Minneapolis. Perhaps I am. But the pictures and commentary on the news the other day really had an effect on me.

The last few days I was in Minnesota I went over that bridge a number of times. I needed to do some things on the Minneapolis campus and as usual I got lost.

As it turned out the first time I finally found the building I needed I hadn't brought all of the documents. So the next day I got lost again and crossed the bridge a number of times.

Perhaps it was that I recognized the surroundings, or that I had been over the bridge myself, or I knew people in the Twin Cities. Whatever it was I seem to want to know everything there is to know about this disaster.

Compounding this 'obsession' is the information I heard during an interview on NPR this morning. There are tens of thousands of bridges in the United States that are categorized as either "structurally deficient" or "functionally obsolete"

I am sure there are technical definitions to these terms but on the face of it they are scary.

Infrastructure spending has decreased steadily - roads, bridges, water purification, etc.


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