Monday, August 27, 2007

Awesome news for me!

I can't really remember if I voted for Cam Gordon or not, but he just made my day...

Update: Looks like it was just confirmed today by the Strib!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Indefinitely Frustrating

Although I'm a lifelong lover of storms, for once it's not a welcome site.

Despite moving the police tape way back a couple weeks ago, thus giving us back our visitor parking lot, this week the powers that be closed it again "indefinitely". In addition, the whole street right outside my building has been littered with "no parking - police order" signs... also "indefinitely". So essentially, having any visitors over to my building is next to impossible.

Also this week, there was a small bright spot when they reopened my end of the pedestrian bridge just downriver... for about an hour... and then subsequently closed it with no explanation... once again "indefinitely". But without question the most frustrating part is the fact that the 10th Avenue bridge remains closed, making it extremely inconvenient to get to 35W north and any shopping I need to do. And this weekend, they closed the stretch of 94 from downtown to highway 280, making it equally inconvenient to get anywhere east (i.e. St. Paul).

One theory I've heard is that there is a team of Navy SEAL divers down there and they want to protect their identities. Another possible explanation I heard for why the 10th Avenue bridge is still closed is that, given its close proximity to the 35W bridge site, they don't want the public possibly dropping things into it while it remains a crime scene. Either way, things probably won't get any better until all of the bodies are recovered (as of today, the number of missing is two) and cleanup can really kick into full swing.

Which brings me back to the weather forecast which for today and the next few days includes rain and storms, delaying the recovery efforts. I'm not trying to be insensitive to the tragedy that happened here. I just wish the powers that be were a little more sensitive to the fact that people live here and at the very least be a little more forthcoming with information.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Thank God for Small Favors

A couple small tidbits in this morning's news should help me immensely (from this article):

  • Motorists on southbound I-35W will be able to reach the 4th Street/University Avenue exit via a single lane. Previously, southbound drivers could go no farther than Stinson Boulevard.

  • Northbound I-35W will continue past the I-94 east exit to the 3rd Street and University of Minnesota exits

That first one would mean a lot more if the 10th Ave. bridge was open since that's the way I usually come home from that direction.

Another bright spot is hearing this morning that removal of cars and debris begins today. And that the stone arch bridge reopened yesterday giving people a place to look at the bridge site from. What that hopefully means is a drop in the ridiculous number of gawkers around my building.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Bush Visit

Bush came to visit yesterday which was an extreme hassle for everyone on my block. Our entire block was basically on lockdown considering his motorcade drove right past my building.

What seems a little ridiculous to me is this. Everyone is curious to see the site. As frustrating as it is at times having all of these gawkers right on my street, I understand that it's natural to want to see it. I can say at least for myself that seeing it in person is so much different than seeing it on the news.

And yet the authorities are trying to keep people from getting anywhere near it. But any politician who's remotely curious about it is immediately granted permission to go right down to it and see it for themselves.

Heck, it would make my life much easier if they would just set aside a safe area where people can see it. As is evidenced by the news of 2 people arrested for tresspassing after scaling a 10-foot fence and crossing 3 police tape lines just to see it, people obviously want to see it and will try to find a way. Besides, It would mean less gawkers on my street!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

35W Bridge Collapse

Holy $@#!

Tonight on my way home I was very puzzled when I was forced to stop and turn around. Not sure what to do, I headed another way. Traffic was stopped. All the sudden there were emergency vehicles literally everywhere. Confused, I was starting to wonder if this was related somehow. Turning on the radio, I heard one of the more amazing things I'd ever heard: the 35W bridge over the Mississippi right outside my building had collapsed... during rush hour.

Near as I can tell, it happened not even 5 minutes before I would've been driving right underneath it. Freaky.

After a number of detours, I finally made it home. When I first grabbed my camera and headed out, it was absolute chaos. There were people running confused everywhere... including firefighters and police. When I first walked out, I was literally standing right next to one piece of the collapsed bridge. There was a car on fire not 100 feet from me. But as time passed, police kept shooing us away.

Easily one of the most insane things I've ever seen.

Check out my pictures here.