Minneapolis -- While no official commemorative events are planned, Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Minne-apolis Mayor R.T. Rybak asked Minnesotans to remember the second anniversary of the I-35W bridge collapse with a moment of silence at 6:05 p.m. Saturday.
Pawlenty also declared Saturday to be "Interstate 35W Bridge Memorial Day" and is ordering flags to be flown at half-staff at the state Capitol and surrounding buildings.
The first anniversary of the Aug. 1, 2007, collapse was commemorated last year on the Minneapolis riverfront, where thousands of people gathered for music, speeches and a somber march onto the Stone Arch Bridge, which crosses the Mississippi River just upstream from where the old bridge fell.
A lot of things have happened in the past 12 months: The replacement bridge opened, survivors got $36 million in state money, federal investigators cited a design flaw in the collapse and a host of lawsuits have been filed. But no work has yet been done on the memorial to the 13 people who died.
The memorial's design was unveiled at a ceremony a few days before the new bridge opened to traffic on Sept. 18 last year. The design work, by Oslund and Associates, was done in consultation with collapse survivors and family members of those who died.
The memorial, which is to be built in a corner of Gold Medal Park, near the Guthrie Theater, will be an
81-foot square with a 65-foot medallion in the center and will contain 13 I-beams arranged in a circle. State and local officials pledged to help raise $1 million in private money, with $750,000 going toward construction and $250,000 for a maintenance fund.
But the new bridge opened the same week that Lehman Brothers collapsed and Wall Street began its unraveling, and raising money has been difficult. So far, about $200,000 has been collected, including $75,000 from Flatiron-Manson, builders of the new $234 million bridge, and $50,000 from Thrivent Financial, where bridge
collapse victim Sherry Engebretsen worked.
Jeremy Hanson, a spokesman for Rybak, said a private fundraising consultant has been hired and both Pawlenty and the mayor were assembling a fundraising committee that is expected to step up efforts this fall.
No timetables have been set for reaching the goal or beginning work, he said.