The rescue mission in Minneapolis has now turned into a recovery mission. At least four people are confirmed dead but up to 30 are still missing and at least 20 vehicles are still being pulled from the Mississippi river.
The bridge collapse sent some 50 vehicles into the river, injuring 60 others and leaving an unimaginable pile of rubble which now links the twin cities.
According to a local Minneapolis paper, a federal database in 2005 rated the bridge "structurally deficient." Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty told ABC News "we know that the bridge was inspected in 2005 and 2006 by state inspectors and while there was some stress and surface concerns noted, they didn't identify a need for the bridge to be replaced."
In 2006, more than 73,000 bridges were rated as "structurally deficient" while an additional 80,000 were "functionally obsolete," according to federal transportation statistics. There are approximately 600,000 bridges in the country.
According to the National Bridge Inventory on the Department of Transportation's Web site, the deck of the bridge was in fair condition, the superstructure was satisfactory and the bridge rating indicated it met currently acceptable standards. It was not expected to be replaced until 2020.
While officials are not sure of the cause of the collapse, Department of Homeland Security officials quickly ruled out terrorism. There was a construction crew on the bridge doing a resurfacing job that cut traffic from eight lanes to four, but it's not clear if the work had anything to do with the collapse.
So Gather Members, do you believe the bridges in you area are safe? Are you concerned about driving over them? Please share your thoughts.