Goodman pushes for public view of collapsed bridge

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August 6, 2007 // UPDATED 10:11 am - August 9, 2007
By: Dylan Thomas
Dylan Thomas
A Minneapolis City Council member said she was pushing for closer public access to the site of the I-35W bridge collapse Wednesday night, one week after the Aug. 1 accident that claimed at least five lives.

After getting her own close-up look at the disaster site, Council Member Lisa Goodman (Ward 7) said the public needed a better vantage point to take in the full scope of the tragedy. Goodman described her efforts to open a public viewing space at the Bryn Mawr Neighborhood Association Board meeting.

“It’s a humbling experience that people should actually see,” she said.

Goodman said she urged officials managing the disaster site to open the 10th Avenue Bridge, which has been closed to the public since the collapse and used as a staging area for recovery efforts. If that bridge can’t be opened, a compromise might be to reopen a pedestrian bridge just downriver from the 10th Avenue Bridge, she said.

Police enforced a large keep-out zone following the bridge collapse, which kept the public from getting closer than a few blocks from the disaster site. That restricted area was shrunk Wednesday, but most public vantage points still offer only partial views of the bridge.

Goodman said the enormity of the disaster could not be grasped from the images printed in newspapers or broadcast on TV.

“It’s part of the healing process, I think, for people to see what happened,” Goodman said.