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Continued: State's plans for new I-35W bridge include light rail

  • Article by: JIM FOTI , Star Tribune
  • Last update: August 21, 2007 - 11:48 PM

A media tour of the site Tuesday revealed the northern section clogged with broken bridge decking, while the southern section of the river had been cleared of debris down several feet, said Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek, who served as a guide.

"It looks a lot different in some respects," Stanek said of the scene, comparing it to the immediate aftermath of the Aug. 1 tragedy. "In other respects, it looks the same way, showing the chaos and the horror."

Rosenker said that on Monday, the NTSB had received documents relating to the bridge's original design and that those would be "extremely helpful" to investigators who are running computer models of the collapse to try to determine its cause.

He said two gusset plates were being taken to Washington for further analysis but cautioned against jumping to any conclusions about the cause of the collapse. "There's more to it than the gusset plates -- let me just make sure you understand that," he said.

An NTSB team will be in town at least through the first week in November, he said.

The city still has no plan for reopening the 10th Avenue Bridge, but on Tuesday many people came to see the destruction from the Dinkytown Bicycle Connection, a bicycle and pedestrian bridge downstream that was reopened at noon only on the West Bank end of the U campus. Construction is keeping the East Bank end closed.

Bicyclists Jim and Susan LeClair of northeast Minneapolis stopped by for a moment of silence and to pay their respects to the victims.

"I just hope they didn't suffer," Jim LeClair said.

Staff writers Tim Harlow and Norman Draper contributed to this report. Jim Foti • 612-673-4491

Jim Foti • jfoti@startribune.com

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