4 thoughts on “Today in history”

  1. Jim and I moved to Ottawa in 1986, but didn’t meet until 1991 (so we missed the 1966 collapse). Jim works at the Canada Post building on the corner where Baseline turns into Heron Road, i.e. at the corner of Prince of Wales. Bridges should be marked with expiration dates when they are built. Also, as traffic patterns change and the bridge usage increases from those anticipated in the original design, get the engineers and architects back out there to recalculate the necessary re-inforcements. We pay tax dollars for safe roads. Alternatively, have the government oversee any building (residential, retail and commercial), get the engineering study done and make the builder pay for the increased load to bridges and/or additional lanes, traffic lights, etc.

  2. We were in Ottawa in 1966. The disaster caused much soul-searching at the local hospitals, which apparently had not given much thought to disaster preparedness until then. Having large numbers of casualties arrive at once is a major challenge for health facilities, and there must be a plan, and an annual rehearsing of the plan. The existence and simulation-testing of disaster plans became a criterion for hospital accreditation nationally. The Heron Road disaster may have been the stimulus.

  3. Ah! good old ottawa. While working there at the national research council I was made aware of the phenomenon of people who were tired of working, and who then “retired” by getting a government job. Some people there didn’t do a day’s work a month. (Others, I hasten to add were brilliant and hard working.) Anyway, the reason bridges collapse is that spending money on something invisible like infrastructure doesn’t buy the politicians any votes, so the only time they will do it is if they can give the job as a porkbarrel job to a buddy or financial supporter.

  4. And the Olympics are coming, so for the next 3 years all we will get are immense projects which make tons o dough for Campbell’s buddies while the rest of the infrastructure continues the steady decline into decay.

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