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Continued: A new view as worries mount over fresh influx of vehicles

  • Article by: RANDY FURST , Star Tribune
  • Last update: August 31, 2007 - 11:38 PM

"If you can do your work at home with a computer, it would be a good time to try that out," said Sobania.

Kramascz notes that since the collapse, a lot of drivers have been using alternative routes, rather than the suggested detour routes.

On Tuesday, he said, he expects the morning rush hour to start a little earlier, around 6:30 or 7 a.m., and last a little longer, perhaps until 9 a.m.

Campus authorities say one of the most congested areas on the campus is at the convergence of University and Washington Avenues and Oak Street. Road construction is underway in connection with the building of the Gophers football stadium, Miner said, but all traffic lanes may be open Tuesday.

Still, students are not looking forward to the commute.

"Traffic is going to be hell," predicted Zach Garry, 18, a university freshman, who encountered traffic tieups on Friday when he drove to Dinkytown.

"I'm thinking of driving in with a friend at 7 a.m.," said Emma Johnson, 20, a junior. "I think Tuesday is going to be rough."

To encourage more bus use, the university has lowered the monthly price of Metropass, an unlimited transit pass for faculty and students, from $64 to $45.

"We're saying to people, 'If you don't need your car, leave your car at home and take transit,'" said university vice president Kathleen O'Brien.

The Minneapolis campus has 900 fewer parking spaces because of the stadium construction, although there are two new parking lots being created, Ramolae noted.

Advice: Walk across bridge

Opening the 10th Avenue Bridge could help ease congestion somewhat, though it is now one lane in each direction, down from four lanes total. Sobania advised people to walk across the bridge, not drive it, if they are looking for a view of the collapse. He said there's nothing to see from a vehicle.

"I can't believe the destruction," said Brett Hodroff, 41, of Lindstrom, Minn., an auto mechanic who came out to look at it on his lunch hour. "It seems a lot bigger."It blows you away, it's awesome," said Don Beimborn, 67, a retired book publisher. "It makes me mad as heck. Our leaders let us down."

Josie Jimenez, 16, and her friend Alyssa Kramptiz, 16, of Rochester, came with Jimenez's mother and boyfriend to the State Fair on Friday but stopped at the bridge first for a look.

"It's scary," said Jimenez. "It reminds me of the Twin Towers."

Mike Kadlec, 29, a department manager at Target in Brooklyn Park, was taking photographs. "It's kind of scary to see something just twisted up like tinfoil," he said.

"I was down there," said Lindsay Petterson, 24, wearing a back brace and using a walker, pointing to a spot in the Mississippi River where her car plunged to the river bottom on Aug. 1.

Petterson had joined the spectators on the bridge with her parents and boyfriend. "I thought I was going to die," she said. "I was on my last bit of oxygen.

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