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Interstate 35W Bridge Collapse Critical Response


It was the combined response and effective command of all Minnesota’s largest agencies that contributed to so many lives being saved during the horrific events of the 35W bridge collapse on August 1, 2007.

No one agency can plan for or fathom all the possible disasters or events that may unfortunately occur.  However, appropriate training, emergency preparations, and effective tools arm an agency with the flexibility, information, and analytics to efficiently respond to all types of events. 

WORKFORCE DIRECTOR™ was one such tool that allowed the following organizations to react, manage, and track resources and time to the activities supporting the 35W bridge collapse response:

Minneapolis Police Department –

  • Redeployment of work force from multiple 8 and 10 hours shifts to two 12 hours shifts.
  • More than $2 million of potentially reimbursable overtime tracked to bridge collapses activities.
  • Deployment of work force to specific bridge collapse activities, while maintaining coverage for normal patrol duties
  • Automatic pay adjustments to accommodate Union rules for minimum hours worked.
  • Online access to overtime sign-up sheets, with automated approval workflow and schedule integration.

Hennepin County Sheriff –

  • Immediate addition of 35W bridge collapse tracking codes to allow effective resource management and ensure accurate tracking of each employee’s time.
  • Thousands of regular shift and reimbursable overtime hours tracked to bridge collapse activities.

Minneapolis Fire Department –

  • Successful redeployment of staff to ensure immediate response and adequate coverage across the city.
  • Immediate access to overtime callback list and deployment of the additional resources to desired rigs and assignments.
  • Rotating 24hour shift coverage

Metro Transit Police –

  • Tracking one hundred plus hours of regular and overtime hours for full and part-time resources to bridge collapse activities.

WFD Testimonial – In the Aftermath…

As the Grant Accountant for the Police Department, I was responsible for preparing the 35W Bridge Collapse Expenditure Reports to FEMA. The Police Department had a total of 2.3 million in expenditures during a period of 25 days of which $2 million was for OT. I had two weeks to prepare the reports.

The FEMA form for the Overtime needed Employee Name, Date and hours worked and some other data. I used WFD (WORKFORCE DIRECTOR™) to run the Time Summary Report, exported it to Microsoft® Excel, extracted the above information and added other information from other sources to meet the required format for FEMA. The report from WFD also helped me to verify on the shift hours for double entries. Though WFD didn’t provide all the information I needed for the reports, I would like to state that “but for WFD reports, I would have been spending double time keying in all the data that WFD provided”. ~Lilly Theis