SAINT PAUL, Minn. – Fifteen years ago today, on August 1, 2007, the I-35W bridge collapsed over the Mississippi River in Minneapolis, killing 13 people and injuring 145 more. House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler (DFL – Golden Valley), chief author of the legislation the following year to compensate survivors of the collapse, issued the following statement:
“A bridge collapsing in a major metropolitan area during a busy rush hour was a heartbreaking tragedy, and 15 years later, my heart still goes out to everyone who lost loved ones. Every time I cross the bridge constructed in its place, I’m reminded of the loss of life that day and the unthinkable trauma those who were on the bridge – and those who responded to the catastrophe – must still experience to this day.
“What happened 15 years ago was an unacceptable outcome resulting from a failure to properly maintain our roads and bridges, and the event should also serve as a constant reminder of why investing in our public infrastructure is so critical. We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to share in billions worth of federal funding from President Biden’s infrastructure package, but so far, Republicans have continued to stand in the way of allowing us to put these dollars to good use for our communities. All Minnesotans deserve safe, reliable roads and bridges, and we can never allow something like what occurred on August 1, 2007 to happen again on our watch.”