Diagnosing Bridge Collapse


New York Times has a nice retrospective video on the “collapse of the I-35W bridge in Minneapolis in 2007 killed 13 people and focused attention on the state of bridges across the nation.” As a native Minnesotan, this event is one of the moments I look back and can easily pinpoint my growing interest in infrastructure, especially, infrastructural decay as a major present and future concern in the US and beyond.

6 thoughts on “Diagnosing Bridge Collapse

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  3. amateur engineering … wild stuff, but surely already on the make in many areas, especially rural, from my experience.


  4. maybe a sick polis with a failing part/organ? perhaps there is some slim hope that a broken ‘tool’ like a bridge will come to consciousness or at least can be used as a perspicuous-re-presentation to hit a gestalt-switch in the public? Our local rightwingnut newspaper today is trumpeting citizens in Iowa volunteering to fill potholes, undermining both the work/value/expertise of public employees and no doubt the quality of the roadwork, amateur engineering can’t be far behind…


  5. Interesting idea … a little academic for common use, but the idea of “sick bridges” is positively fascinating and a has potential. I would bet a simple set of experiments (like showing pictures of “decrepit” or “sick” bridges followed by a “willingness to invest” battery of questions) could answer that question fairly quick.



  6. one of the major hurdles (aporias?) in medicine (and therefore in our national politics) is the issue of patient non-compliance, where even after they have been diagnosed with potentially deadly diseases patients refuse (are unable?) to shift their self-destructive habits into potentially reconstructive efforts and I think there is some similar happening in relation to the realm of the civic ‘body’ of infrastructure.


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