Steel from 35W Bridge Collapse Placed in New St. Thomas Engineering Building

School officials say it is not a memorial, but rather an important part of education.

On Saturday, a reminder of the Interstate 35W bridge collapse was pulled from storage and placed in the basement of the University of St. Thomas’ new engineering building.

The mangled steel and bent metal that broke during rush hour on August 1, 2007 was deemed a design defect by the National Transportation Safety Board.

RELATED: Victims Honored, Survivor Stories Told on 15th Anniversary of 35W Bridge Collapse

“We have to learn from this and we have to be deliberate about how we learn from this,” Don Weinkauf, dean of the University of St. Thomas’s school of engineering.

A forensic investigation showed that the gussets were only half as thick as they should have been. The disaster upended safety protocols across the country.

In the university’s engineering building, students will be able to see it on their way to class as a reminder that engineers often have people’s lives in their hands.

“It shows exactly how integrated engineers are into society, the work they do, whether it’s on the internet or on the highway, that we’re a vital part of this community, a vital part of society, and our engineering students have an obligation to serve in this way,” Weinkauf said.

The building that will house the university’s engineering school is expected to open in spring 2024.

The main piece of steel responsible for the entire collapse is owned and stored by the Minnesota Historical Society.

Comments are closed.