LETTER: Passersby witness bridge support sinking
While driving back from Eveleth to the Minneapolis area, my friend, Michael Svercl of Anoka, Minn., and I decided to stop for a stretch in Cloquet. We spotted some walking/bike trails that followed the river bank and over a walking bridge. While on the north side of the river, parallel to the bridge support, we stopped to admire the ice flow and blockage caused by the working bridge supports.
All of a sudden, we found ourselves entertained by the sinking of the bridge support! There was nothing silent or calm about it as it submerged. It caused a huge waterspout to shoot up into the air, which in turn churned up the ice and rained water and ice over the existing ice flow. It was as if something under the water grabbed it and pulled it under.
Of course, my friend and I looked at each other in surprise, asking if each had really seen that! I then stopped to text my uncle, Sam Erkkila, in Eveleth on April 22 to tell him "... to watch the news, as we had just witnessed one of the old piers from the old bridge 'kerplunk' into the river ..."
We continued our walk, coming across a few others who had witnessed the event. Two young men fishing off the walking bridge were still in a shocked and excited mode when we approached them. They were saying: "Did you see that! We have to call the news!"