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The Cedar Riverside bridge; LONG an issue

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Message Virginia Simson
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Just so's you know.  I am from Minneapolis, as some of you may have gathered.

In 1969, just prior to the mining of Haiphong harbor  - the construction of THIS very bridge and the accompanying federal housing to which it was INITIALLY to be terminated (HHH stadium came later) caused street rioting.  The rioting erupted when the HUD (Housing and Urban Development) officials came to open tne New Town in Cedar Riverside..

The University of Minnesota was the scene of full scale protests during the Vietnam war era. 

The lefties started all sorts of community projects, like food coops in the neighborhood and there was a very high profile street scene in Cedar Riverside with lefties and hippies developing. It was highly artistic, much like Haight Asbury.

So the powers that be decided to tear it down. They gave a developer, Heller-Seagal federal funding to develop this "new town".  Lots were displaced, made homeless .. and the promiss made to provide tons of cheap housing never fulfilled.

The highway was put in and the original plan for the ORIGINAL bridge scraped, due in large part, to the academics at the U of M business school, a place where the most conservative (federal) economist was teaching. 

At the time, Hubert Humphrey, was MOST unpopular with us anti-war critics as Vice President, and we knew he was diverting TONS of develpment money into Minnesota.  He caused the erection of manyseniors' highrises, which we labelled "death towers", but the getting the residents out to vote, ensured that he got what he wanted ... votes.

Eventually the artistic nature of Cedar Riverside was lost on the main street (Cedar Avenue) AND the cheap housing not materialized.  Then came the plans for the dome!  More money for edifices, but not for people .. so much for the Feds and promises.

The bridge was slapped up quickly and we surmised and quickly, too, it WAS NOT BUILT PROPERLY.

I remember walking under the RR trestle next to it thinking . .. this is going to end badly .. when I saw the garbage on it, just prior to its opening.  IT was cheap and scary. 

Anyhow, the population of the neighborhood grew VERY UPSET as time came along .. and neighborhoods of NDN people were displaced to the Cedar Riverside New Town project.  The arrival of the middle class and the cool wealthy people, who were "going to spend money" there never occured.

PLUS we got wind that these federal highways, I-94 and 35W were SPECIFICALLY put where they were to accomodate federal tanks should the need arise .. remember that this is the days after the Detriot riots and CONgress passed legislation to build these federal highways for "national defense".

So I am sitting here now wondering -- will the media even bring up the street rioting over these? Will they bring up the developers and their greed?  and the legacy of the democRATS ..?

Some of MY relatives could have been hurt in that accident, I am not being hard hearted here, folks . only I know certain things about this I doubt I shall ever see being reported ...

I see that the Feds are all over the place denying it had anything to do with terrorism. There were terrorists alright . investors who threw up any old thing to make a buck and academics who made excuses for them, and politicos who wanted to stay IN POWER, no matter what us, the public, for god's sake, told them. 

For years I resolutely did NOT cross it .. and I lived on both sides of that bridges from 1967 to 1976 and had plenty of reason to cross the river in subsequent years. Way too scary as I knew that it was slapped up in one right hurry.  Lots of other people will remember this, too, I am sure.  I laugh when I read these surmises that salt was the destructive force in tearing down a concrete bridge .. I think some will resonate with the comment that flimsy construction efforts FEEL flimsy cuz they are.

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Virginia Simson is a blogger - as well as a blog on the uranium industry and hydraulic fracking at which anticipated the Japanese meltdowns. She has a large archive of material on (more...)
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