How does a bridge built in Minnesota in 1964 teach us about the importance of our integrity? Stay with me and listen to some of the history of the I-35 Mississippi Bridge:
- In 1961, the first company that was contracted to build the I-35 Bridge backed out of building the bridge over the Mississippi River in Minnesota. This was because the bridge could not be built to the plans specifications without being compromised.
- In 1964, another company built it instead. It quickly became the 3rd busiest bridge in MN. 140,000 cars traveled on it every day.
- By 1996, the bridge was known as a treacherous black ice zone, the most treacherous winter road in the cities. I myself, had an experience on this bridge. I skidded out of control and was saved from crashing into a car in front of me and possibly worse, with a miracle of my own. Thankfully, the city put in a system to basically spray a liquid salt to help de-ice the area.
- Throughout the years, the bridge was inspected. Problems were noted of cracking and fatigue in certain areas. However, with every inspection they continued to defer fixing the bridge, stating that it could be worked on at another time.
- In 2005, the engineers deemed the bridge to be at the lowest possible scoring for safety. It was considered structurally deficient but met the minimal tolerable limits to be left as is.
- The 2007 Safety inspections, showed that the bridge still needed to be worked on. They realized that they may have to tear it all down and the cost and traffic problems were not desired. They scheduled to replace the bridge in 2020 – 13 years in the future.
- On August 1st, 2007 at 6pm, in rush hour traffic the bridge collapsed. Toppling between 81 ft. – 115 ft. into the river, riverbanks and railway yard below. A total of 111 cars toppled. When the bridge collapsed, it killed 13 and injured 145.
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- It was determined that there were some steel gusset plates that were undersized and inadequate to support the intended load of the bridge, a load that had increased over time. Gussets that the original plans were aware of, that would compromise the strength and integrity of the bridge. Only shorter and weaker steel plates were only used in one section of the bridge. Also, adding to the problem, was the de-icing system which increased corrosion of the thinner plates.
The Crucial Importance of Integrity
For some of us integrity is to do the right thing, at the right time, for the right reason – at any cost. For others, integrity is to be honest, sincere, and doing good. In the case of the Minnesota Bridge, integrity was about safety and structural strength. Either way, integrity cannot be compromised. It is what makes us love the hero of a story – not because they are perfect, but because their goal is to live in integrity.
I have learned that the value of my words strengthens me, if I do as I say and speak as I do. The following story about integrity is a personal one, but I am sure many of you will see how it pertains to you.
Our two youngest children came to us through very hard experiences, which you can read more about here. I was blessed to have a counselor show me how I could build trust with these two kids, back when we were fostering them. I wanted to prove to my children that when I said I would do something, they could believe it.
What my counselor taught me was, instead of saying “just a minute” when my child needed something, I was to put the timer on and say, “I will be with you in 2 minutes.” Or 5 minutes, 1 minute, etc. The kids were to keep the timer with them and when the timer dinged, I was not to waste even a second going to help them.
I would immediately stop whatever I was doing and come directly to the one needing my help. Making no excuses and no procrastinations, I came. My children learned that I was a mother of integrity and that they were important to me.
Run a Safety Audit on Your Heart
If you and I have become like the Minnesota bridge and are compromised in some way, big or small, it is up to us to mend our integrity. Our internal healing and our Higher Power can make our bridges whole again.
Don’t ignore the holes in your integrity. Too many of us have been afraid that fixing our bridges means tearing them down completely, and at a large cost. We defer our healing and pretend that our compromises of integrity are not dangerous. But we cannot ignore the fact that years of unhealed errors can crash down around us at any moment.
Run a safety audit on your heart. Uncover even the smallest places in the darkest parts of your life and bring them to the Light. If you wish to fight the good fight, bring your Higher Power into your story. Utilize God and utilize your own Spirit to overcome and heal. He can make the difficult become simple and positive. Don’t go at it alone, because He really is the only one that can completely heal the integrity of your heart.
Take a Step Towards Mending Your Integrity Today
At Eclipse Healing, we utilize a belief in a Higher Power. We teach you to trust not only in yourself but in that Higher Power. You can connect with us for 1×1 sessions that will help you to break down the walls and blocks that keep you from connecting and being true to yourself. Click here to learn more about these sessions and book a free foundation session today!
This post was written by Eclipse guide Domonique. Click here to learn more about the Eclipse guides, or follow on Instagram here for more wisdom and personal stories from Domonique!