This post originally appeared on Orphan Road.

The tragedy in Minneapolis yesterday forces us all to take a moment and evaluate our own infrastructure:

Wooten’s concerns aren’t too far off base — in a 2005 study of the nation’s infrastructure, the American Society of Civil Engineers found that about 26 percent of Washington’s 3,000 bridges are either structurally deficient or obsolete.

And the state has had its share of major bridges collapse.

The old Tacoma Narrows Bridge — “Galloping Gertie” as it came to be called — fell into Puget Sound during a 1940 windstorm.

Fifty years later, a section of the Interstate 90 Mercer Island floating bridge sank to the bottom of Lake Washington during stormy weather.

In an effort to prevent more failures from happening here, engineers inspect each of the state’s bridges every two years, said Jugesh Kapur, the chief bridge engineer at the state Department of Transportation.

America’s infrastructure is showing its age. Most of the highways and bridges we use today were built during the 1950s and 60s. And though most are still in incredibly good shape, many are starting to fall apart. Fortunately, this is all happening at a time in which we as a society are re-evaluating the pre-eminence of the automobile. We can make better choices with this next time ’round.