5 years after I-35W bridge collapse, bridge repair program halfway complete

Minnesota is on track to meet a 2018 deadline to repair or replace 136 bridges that have been identified as having the most serious deficiencies, as part of a 10-year, $2.5 billion program. State lawmakers created the program just a few months after the I-35W bridge plunged into the Mississippi River during the peak of evening rush hour on Aug. 1, 2007, killing 13 people and injuring more than 100 others.

With the completion of 13 projects this year, the Minnesota Department of Transportation will be halfway toward its goal of eliminating the backlog of repair and replacement of the 136 bridges deemed to have the most serious problems, the Pioneer Press reports.

After the Aug. 1, 2007 Interstate 35W bridge collapse, state lawmakers created the 10-year, $2.5 billion program to repair the state's aging bridges, and its mostly on track, the newspaper reports.

But nationally, lawmakers and others who pushed for an ambitious plan to shore up America's aging infrastructure, largely failed in the effort, the Star Tribune reported.

In other news, Minneapolis photographer Vance Gellert has spent the past two years on "The Bridge," a project about the Interstate 35W bridge collapse, in which 13 people died. A show of his photos opens Wednesday at the Mill City Museum in downtown Minneapolis. He spoke to the Star Tribune.

Another exhibit tells the story of the 81 minutes of rescues in the immediate aftermath of the collapse, the Downtown Journal reports.

The NTSB's reports on the I-35W bridge collapse are collected on MnDOT's website.

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