Industry Reacts to Minneapolis Bridge Collapse

by Penny Stacey

As the aftermath of the bridge collapse in Minneapolis continues, those in the area that USGNN.com/USGlass magazine were able to reach says the effects on the industry as a whole have been minimal, but that it's still early to tell what's in store.

Josh Patrin, customer service manager for ABRA Auto Body & Glass in Minneapolis, says his shop is about 20 miles away from the location of the bridge.

"It's obviously only 24 hours out, so it's early to tell," he said.

Mike Schmaltz, executive director of the Minnesota Glass Association, says he's traveled the bridge many times-and while he hasn't personally been affected at this point, expects the collapse to have ramifications for the future.

"It is going to be extremely disruptive as it is a major thoroughfare of the city," Schmaltz says.

Schmaltz, who lives in Eden Prairie, Minn., a suburb of Minneapolis, says the incident will cause him to re-think his travel routes in the future.

"From where I am, it will force me to re-route trips that I take," he says. "I work in the southwest portion of the city and anytime I go to the northeast of the city, I'll have to keep in mind that that's not available."

He also says with this route not being available, traffic will likely increase as time goes on.

"It'll drive a lot of traffic onto other routes in the city and you'll start to hear more and more about congestion as time goes on," Schmaltz adds.

One representative from the Madison Heights, Mich.-based Sika Corp., Jim Janssen, drove over the bridge just hours before it collapsed. Janssen was traveling today and unavailable for comment.

Penny Stacey is a contributing editor for USGNN.com™/USGlass magazine.

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