The death toll in the 35W Bridge collapse now stands at 13 as the final victim was pulled from the Mississippi River on Monday. Search crews and the family expressed relief that he had been found. The victim was a member of the construction crew that had been doing concrete work on the bridge at the time of the collapse.
After Stanek thanked authorities for completing the recovery of the victims, the next question – what now? – was partially answered. Primary authority for the bridge site now rests with the Minnesota Department of Transportation in its now-unimpeded efforts to clear the rest of the debris from the river.
“We’ll be working hard to get the channel open,” said Terry Zolles, a MnDOT construction engineer. As for a time frame: “It’s twisted steel, so it’s hard to predict.”
The Navy divers responsible for the victim recovery work are now packing to leave the area. The Governor of Minnesota asked President Bush to declare the area a major disaster in order to receive more federal aid money. The President complied and declared a state of emergency.
The 35W Bridge in Minneapolis collasped on August 1st. It is unknown what caused the bridge collapse.