[thechat] the bridge!

Erik Mattheis gozz at gozz.com
Thu Aug 2 02:49:08 CDT 2007

Here's where I live, with a map of the interrupted route I would much 
rather be taking to work in the coming years http://tinyurl.com/2xltku 
KSTP just reported $120 million and "several years" to build a new one.

I was on 35W 4-5 miles south of the bridge when emergency vehicles 
started passing me. I turned off to pick up a friend for the Twins game, 
it was obvious something was happening downtown; there's a paint plant 
near the bridge, some black smoke, a news chopper - I guessed an 
industrial fire. It didn't occur to me to turn on the radio, left 
Revolver playing.

It was hot dog night, my favorite night. We settled into our seats in 
the Dome with $1 hot dogs and other baseball snacks. Between introducing 
the Twin's and Royal's roster, the announcer said "... collapsed over 
the Mississippi. We will keep you updated as the situation unfolds. 
Please refrain from using your cellphone." I was the only one around who 
heard the "collapsed" part - I figured it may be one of the locks or the 

Two deaf women were next to me, pointing at their smart phones to one 
another (my cell battery was dead). By the top of the 4th I'd chugged 
down two hotdogs, a bag of peanuts and a bag of Cracker-Jacks. Being 
sorely disappointed with the "prize" and started having palpitations. A 
common trigger for panic attacks - in general, and for me - is being in 
a gathering of people where it wouldn't be normal to take your leave 
without explanation - in lines in stores, baseball games. Pills didn't 
kick-in quick enough, had to scram. Leaving the dome, we found out what 
the emergency was - the thought that it's approximately the time it 
collapsed that I travel over it each work day alarmed me and I went into 
a full fledged attack. The pills work well and was able to drive once we 
got to the car.

Fortunately for me, I have a few alternate routes to work which add only 
5-7 miles, hardly anything for my Civic Hybrid|55 gpm for work commute. 
I hope the casualties stay as low as it appears they may be - this would 
be an entirely different scene had the river been frozen over and the 
road slippery.

- Erik

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