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35W Bridge book 300

“The City, the River, the Bridge” addresses the ramifications of the 35W Bridge disaster from the perspectives of history, engineering, architecture, water science, community-based journalism and geography.

U of M experts' new book explores lessons learned from I-35W Bridge collapse

February 8, 2011

Many Minnesotans still vividly recall the evening of Aug. 1, 2007, when the unimaginable happened: The 1,900-foot-long, eight-lane I-35W Bridge buckled and crashed into the Mississippi River. The catastrophe was felt strongly among those at the near-by University of Minnesota. What lessons did the university’s research and teaching community learn from the tragedy and how might these insights help future thinking and planning in fields ranging from engineering to water science? A University of Minnesota expert who can provide perspective is:

Patrick Nunnally, coordinator, Institute on the Environment River Life program

Nunnally is the editor of a new book, “The City, the River, the Bridge,” which addresses the ramifications of the disaster from the perspectives of history, engineering, architecture, water science, community-based journalism and geography.

Nunnally says the university’s job is to think beyond the headlines, to not only provide answers but also solutions to the state’s most pressing infrastructure challenges. “On one hand, the book is about making sense of one of the biggest catastrophes of our generation; on other hand, it’s about trying to understand the Mississippi River as one of the most important economic developments corridors for the Twin Cities and the state.”

As the coordinator for the Institute on the Environment’s River Life program, Nunnally works to establish lasting relationships between the University of Minnesota and groups working on river sustainability. He also teaches classes in landscape planning and urban studies for the university’s College of Design.

For more information about “The City, the River, the Bridge,” visit

To interview Nunnally, contact Jeff Falk, University News Service, or (612) 626-1720.

Expert Alert is a service provided by the University News Service. Delivered regularly, Expert Alert is designed to connect university experts to today's breaking news and current events. For an archive and other useful media services, visit Views expressed by experts do not represent the views of the University of Minnesota.

Tags: Institute on Environment

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Related Links

"The City, the River, the Bridge" - book info

"Three years after the I-35W Bridge collapse, and still three questions not (yet) answered" - Q&A with Pat Nunnally

"'The City, the River, the Bridge' offers a new perspective on the bridge collapse" - KARE-11 interview