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Continued: Nick Coleman: Let's call 'em 'faith-based bridges' -- pray you get across

  • Article by: NICK COLEMAN , Star Tribune
  • Last update: September 27, 2007 - 10:59 PM

"Yes, words are the cheap treatment," a 79-year-old retired 3M engineer named Tor Flatebo said when I explained the Word Fix to him. Flatebo and his wife, Lisa, came from Oregon -- where Flatebo has designed 30 bridges -- for a grandson's wedding, and to see the bridge.

"Whatever they call this, it's a disaster for sure," he said. "You can see that. The bridge wasn't watched properly. They are all rusting away. It never should have happened."

Nearby, an amazed Danish banker named Mikkel Gronning was staring at the wreckage with his wife, Pia, and their two children. Planning a summer visit to Minneapolis to see relatives, they were stunned by the collapse.

"We worried, 'What's going on in this place we are going?' People died here! If this happened in Denmark, the people would be angry and some politician would lose their job. This would never be forgotten. People would talk about this for 100 years."

Well, that's Old Europe for you. Those people just don't know how to solve problems.

They would never be smart enough to change the words.

Nick Coleman • ncoleman@startribune.com

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