Historically, Engineers learned much about bridge building through the spectacular failures of existing bridges. Should we accept this practice as a legitimate way of learning more about Bridge Building in the 21st century? Or should modern testing techniques eliminate these failures? Explain your answer.
SUPPLEMENTAL QUESTION: Only do the supplement below if you are one of the three students who have two engineering classes. Otherwise, do not proceed.
In 1980 a freighter struck the Sunshine Skyway Bridge in Tampa, Florida during bad weather. The bridge collapsed and 35 people were killed. Is it fair to call this incident a “freak accident,” or was it an engineering mistake that no one foresaw the possibility of a freighter striking the support column on the bridge? Explain you answer.