Don’t you feel completely reassured now that the state has told us the feds are wrong about the Zakim Bridge‘s being on the verge of collapse?

OK, I exaggerate — but not by nearly as much, I suspect, as state transportation secretary Bernard Cohen was when he told the Globe’s Scott Allen, “It is not a safety issue, but rather a defect associated with the installation.”

Of course, the loose bolts in the tunnel were not a safety issue unless you happened to be driving through it when one of them let go.

This is exactly the kind of story that can have a far bigger impact now, following the collapse of the bridge in Minneapolis, than it normally would. Bridge- and road-safety stories can have a quality of abstractness to them unless readers have a clear picture in their minds of people plunging to their death.

I assume — I hope — that the Globe is going to keep hammering away at this. No doubt Cohen and his boss, Gov. Deval Patrick, are freaking out at the prospect of another multizillion-dollar repair job. But people will have to understand that it wasn’t the Patrick administration who oversaw this shoddy project, and that it’s worth any price to prevent what happened in Minneapolis from happening here.

Yesterday, the Outraged Liberal argued for a higher gas tax instead of an increase in tolls. Unfortunately, we may need both. As well as lawsuits against the responsible contractors from here to eternity.

Photo of Zakim Bridge (cc) by Ron’s Log. Some rights reserved.