Infrastructure Report

One afternoon in downtown Spokane, I came across a spectacle I had not seen before. A truck was stopped in the middle of the street underneath a railroad viaduct. The box-van lorry was wedged tightly between the pavement and the underside of the train overpass. The driver was deflating tires in a frantic attempt to create enough clearance to get his vehicle out. I learned this was regular free entertainment for Spokanites.

Spokane has several low-clearance rail viaducts in the middle of town. There are enough truck drivers who don’t read or don’t believe the yellow signs displaying the height, or don’t know how high their vehicles are, to keep the locals amused. Amused that is, except for other drivers caught up in the resultant traffic back ups.

Click here to read about more fun infrastructure examples.

A note on the Tacoma Narrows Bridge aka “Galloping Gertie”:

Pre-licensing classes for insurance licenses invariably use this to illustrate the importance of doing business in an ethical manner. Providing insurance coverage for sizable projects typically involves multiple insurance companies. For example, General Insurance Company, was at risk for $1 million of the total risk. Afterwards, they ran advertisements with a picture of the check they wrote for the claim.

Not so pleased was Merchants Fire Assurance Company, whose agent collected $70,000 premium and kept it, not telling the company he had issued a policy. After all, what could happen to a brand-new bridge. Merchants was surprised to learn they were on the hook for $800,000, their share of the loss.

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