10 years later: City, families reflect on the 35W bridge collapse

Ten years ago, the 35W bridge buckled, collapsed and dropped into the Mississippi River, killing 13 people.

Visitors from all over stopped by the 35W memorial on Tuesday to remember that tragic day.

Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges addressed a crowd at the anniversary event.

“There are some days we never can forget,” she said.

A decade ago, at exactly 6:05 p.m., the old bridge buckled and dropped.

“There were many hours when I stood on the 10th Avenue bridge wondering if I had 10 people in the water or 150 people,” said Minneapolis Fire Chief John Fruetel. “Not knowing that was very, very, very challenging for us.”

During the anniversary, a piece of the old bridge was unveiled at the Minneapolis Emergency Operations Training Center, the very place where police and firefighters learn to respond to such disasters.

“I hope as we celebrate and memorialize what this is about, we recognize that at a certain point in time, we found common ground that couldn’t shake…and remember that that never does,” said R.T. Rybak, former Minneapolis mayor.

Sherry Engebritsen died in the collapse, and today, her daughter still grieves.

“I don't remember the exact day I could talk about her without crying…or the day when I stopped running on adrenaline and I started feeling again. One day I realized that I was living without guilt, that I was here and she was not," said her daughter Anne Burke. 

It took an act of Congress to rebuild this bridge in a $234 million project. The general contractor, Flat Iron Construction, took less than year to rebuild it.