Since the collapse of the Interstate 35W bridge, the University’s Minneapolis campus has been a complete zoo. With such a tragic event happening so close to campus, it is understandable that life here has changed. Our streets are clogged with traffic, the media, security checkpoints and curious and bewildered citizens.
We are lucky and grateful that the number of people injured and killed is not higher. However, the impact of this void in our transportation infrastructure will continue to affect the daily lives of Twin Cities residents and the University community. Such a massive detour affecting so many commuters forces a reshaping of paths to occur. Detours to smaller highways and streets cannot sustain the amount of traffic that the I-35W bridge once could. Because of this, some must choose other means, like public transportation, biking or walking, in order for the detour system to work.
Come September, commuters to and from the University will be a huge chunk of this rerouted traffic, and their daily route and means of travel choices will greatly affect the ease of travel for all. The University community must strive to set an example for the rest of the city by finding other ways to get around. Collectively, we could significantly decrease traffic delays surrounding the bridge reconstruction. We cannot all avoid the area, but many of us can.
A timetable for reconstruction has the mess cleaned up and the bridge rebuilding complete by the end of next year. That’s a long time to sit in traffic.