Ah, Paris – arguably the most romantic place in the world (although my vote would be for MetLife Stadium). In a recent twist on Parisian public displays of affection, locals and tourists alike have taken to affixing locks to some of the city’s bridges and throwing the keys into the Seine. While city leaders debate whether the “lovelocks” are graffiti or a boon to tourism, one thing is absolutely certain – they represent a lot of dead load (or would they be considered live load?) that was never factored into the bridge design. Let’s hope these bridges don’t collapse under the weight of all that love.
The smell of love is in the air – or is it raw sewage? Take your special someone on this Valentine’s Day tour and they’re one and the same. Just remember the hand sanitizer. And, if anyone actually proposes during the tour, please upload it to YouTube!
Finally, for all you cynics out there, here’s a story that has absolutely nothing to do with love. Leave it to the hometown of Microsoft (and grunge music) to build a bridge that has record-setting brawn and a whole lot of electronic brains. Seventeenth century physics will keep the world’s largest floating bridge from sinking to the bottom of Lake Washington but its remote sensors and construction methods will sport a decidedly more modern feel. The new pontoons will be affixed with over 1,000 water sensors which will send a signal through a programmable logic controller to the 24 hour maintenance facility whenever water leaks are detected. Rebar will be protected from corrosion by low-voltage DC electricity. And, in a nod to security concerns, the bridge will be outfitted with multiple security cameras, intrusion detectors and sharks with laser beams attached to their backs will patrol the depths below – just kidding about that last one – or am I?