First, welcome back from your summer adventures! I’m surfacing after some time away and getting back into the ‘back-to school’ swing. This weekend I was catching up on some emails and came across an article that tickled my fancy. Impassioned Ohio drivers getting worked up about a local bridge on the verge of collapsing.
Looking at the ensemble of article + 19 comments, it seems that the bridge shows signs of degradation, yet the state transportation department has been pouring resources into the construction of new roads.
Until the 3D FEA analysis software was tapped.
Abaqus FEA software, also used for complex engineering, innovations in diapers and even the study of bed sores, has helped the ODOT scientifically conclude that indeed the bridge is on the verge of failure. So rather than enhancing the existing structure as originally planned, they’ve determined it’s more life-and-cost-efficient to eliminate the current bridge and start anew.
“No duh” say some of the local citizens, and they’re pushing hard for construction action now, rather than waiting until 2014.
One of the commenters suggests they literally paint the FEA analysis onto the bridge to show exactly where the red-zone’s located (red being the crumble danger zone), hopefully garnering immediate action.
And there was even someone that shared wish lists of color schemes and aesthetics for the new bridge.
Which got me to thinking: Ohio, why not go further than the FEA analysis?
You can share a 3D model of the new bridge design and have citizens vote online for their preferred colors, surrounding vegetation, etc.
You’re lucky to have active citizens who care about the bridge; get them involved in the project with other flavors of the same 3D software that helped you confirm your action plan.
Now that’s democratic !