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Bridge Collapses Due to Weak Structure

In 2007, the I-35 bridge that crosses the Mississippi River in Minneapolis, Minnesota, collapsed suddenly during rush hour, killing 13 people and injuring 145. The investigation revealed that the gusset plates that connect girders together in the truss system were undersized, resulting in a structural flaw leading to its collapse. A year after the tragedy, The New York Times summarized what went wrong:

The designers had specified a metal plate that was too thin to serve as a junction of several girders, investigators say. The bridge was designed in the 1960s and lasted 40 years. But like most other bridges, it gradually gained weight during that period, as workers installed concrete structures to separate eastbound and westbound lanes and made other changes, adding strain to the weak spot.

To say it another way, the bridge lacked integrity. A bridge has integrity when it does what it was designed to do. Cars, trains, or people can travel across the bridge without it collapsing. In this sense, integrity isn't about morality, but about the ability to function according to the intended design.

Possible Preaching Angles: (1) Character; Integrity. (2) Faith—The Bible says that humans are designed to live by faith. We are not meant to be in full control of every situation, to be all-knowing, or to live merely by what we can perceive. This is what we were designed for.

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