So Hot in Chicago they Had To Spray a Bridge with Water So it Wouldn't Bend into Water

Posted by: Jesse Kleib on 11/17/2021

In many areas around the world this past week, you might’ve noticed that you stepped outside only to be met with what seemed to be a solid brick wall of temperature that was a little bit higher than what you might have expected. As the summer gets to rolling, lots of areas are definitely expecting insane heat and in Chicago, it was no different as the temperatures would begin to rise and continue to the point where they had to start stepping in to make sure that the city’s architecture could handle the heat.

As it turned out, when temperatures would rage toward the 100° mark, the materials that the city was built on would eventually begin to change, notably. In this situation, the steel that was used to construct a bridge over a river would expand, completely changing the shape of the structure. Now, if you have a brief understanding of how engineering for these things works, I’m sure that it was designed with such movement in mind and that the stability of the bridge wasn’t exactly a concern, however, what was a concern was the vessels that were supposed to be passing underneath.

As the steel had so rapidly expanded, there would come a time where clearance issues would poke their head out and show off a situation where the city had to do something about it and in order to cool the bridge down a little bit as it was continuously absorbing the environmental heat. If you check out the video below, you’ll see quite an interesting sight as some water boats are pumping thousands of gallons of water at the bridge with the effort of making sure to contract it back just a little bit in order to raise up and allow boats to pass underneath once again.

Fire department hoses down bridge in blazing heat

It was so hot in Chicago that the fire department needed to hose down the Michigan Avenue Bridge after the steel expanded, reducing clearance for boats.

Posted by ABC News on Sunday, July 1, 2018