|John Weeks posted|
Ten years ago today, my obscure little hobby of hunting down, photographing, and writing about bridges intersected with a major American news story when the unnamed I-35W bridge over the Mississippi River collapsed during the height of rush hour on August 1, 2007.
I vividly recall the first time I saw the underside of this structure. My impression was that there wasn't really that much holding that puppy up for being such a major highway crossing. And like the World Trade Center and the Space Shuttle, it proved to be a fleetingly temporary monument to the era when human engineering technology was invincible.
Another lesson from the affair is that people, especially when acting in groups, tend to not take action on problems until they become an unavoidable crisis. Those concerned about global climate change should take note of this and realize that nothing significant is likely to be done until there is some unavoidable crisis like Washington DC or New York City flooding from rising sea levels or a billion people dying of heatstroke. Folks need to plan according to group mentality rather than to what makes sense.
Here is a link to the 3rd and final edition to my E-book on the bridge disaster: http://www.johnweeks.com/i35w/index.html
Every one of my postings for a bridge in the Illinois (wwIll label) or Mississippi (wwMiss label) should have a link to John's work at the top. He started taking bridge pictures early enough that the old truss bridges along the Illinois River were still standing. By the time I started taking pictures (2014), they had been replaced by steel girder bridges.
Please follow John's link to more information on the old and new bridges, and the disaster.