A worker lowers a piece of 35W bridge debris into its temporary holding location behind Brady Education Center. School of Engineering dean Don Weinkauf secured three pieces of the fallen 35W bridge for St. Thomas. They will eventually be displayed near the Frey Science and Engineering Center where they will be involved in a ceremony for graduating engineering students. (Photo by Mike Ekern '02)

Portion of Collapsed 35W Bridge to Serve as Reminder for St. Thomas Engineering Students

A piece of the I-35W bridge that collapsed in Minneapolis on Aug. 1, 2007, was relocated to its new home on Saturday, Oct. 22, 2022. Don Weinkauf, dean of the University of St. Thomas School of Engineering, spoke with KSTP, WCCO and KARE 11 news teams about the process that led to St. Thomas hosting such a significant piece of history in the Schoenecker Center.

From the story (WCCO):

"It's been a long time coming, we waited for this day. There's been a lot of ideas as to how we can preserve these pieces, how we can make them part of our educational mission here at St. Thomas," Weinkauf said. "When the idea of this building, this facility came into play, we decided that this would be the best place.

Weinkauf says he hopes the display serves as a reminder for civil engineering students, who will see it nearly every day when the building is complete in early 2024.

From the story (KSTP):

KSTP logo 2021

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

From the story (KARE 11):

The school hopes that these pieces reinforce that lessons learned in the classroom do have an impact on peoples' lives.

"That's what I see in this, is really that responsibility to understand that we design these structures and we have a responsibility to make sure that they don't fall down."