I'm sitting in an airport watching footage of this awful bridge accident and it makes me sick. Since I was a kid, I've had an irrational fear of bridge collapse and this one is like my worst nightmare.
Again, you cannot look at something like this and not wonder if the years and years of infrastructure neglect at the hands of GOP propagandists who have been starving government for decades now is finally coming back to haunt us.
The 40-year-old bridge was rated as "structurally deficient" two years ago and possibly in need of replacement, the Star Tribune reported. The newspaper said that rating was contained in the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Bridge Inventory database.
"We've seen it, and we are very familiar with it," Jeanne Aamodt, a spokeswoman for the Minnesota Department of Transportation, said of the 2005 assessment of the bridge.
Aamodt noted that many other bridges around the country carry the same designation that the I-35W bridge received. She declined to say what the agency was going to do to address the deficiencies found in 2005.
Governments all over the country have been robbing Peter to pay Paul, shifting money to immediate needs like health care and child welfare and hoping against hope that the roads and bridges and buildings built during the new deal era held up. "No New Taxes" has been the rallying cry for decades now, but nobody ever said how we were supposed to pay for the things we all take for granted. And, of course,when things like this happen, the wingers blame the government and everyone decries taxes even more.
I have to wonder if any Republicans were on that bridge last night. If there were, they must have realized that sometimes we really are all in it together.