Phil Campbells and the Recovery of Phil Campbell, Ala.

January 4, 2012
A guy named Phil Campbell comes to the rescue of a town named Phil Campbell. And he brings a bunch of other Phil Campbells along to help.

It’s pretty safe to say that Phil Campbell loves Phil Campbell. And vice versa.

They're an unlikely couple who’d have to try pretty hard to be much more different. One’s a novelist from Brooklyn. The other is a small town in northwest Alabama, about 90 miles from Birmingham, that’s home to roughly 1,100 people. What Phil Campbell the man and Phil Campbell the town do have in common is obvious, and yet something as simple as a relatively ordinary name has become the basis of a deep connection between the two.

Lightning-Quick Governmental Reactions And The Broken Bridge Bandwagon

August 9, 2007
The August 1 collapse of the Interstate 35W bridge over the Mississippi River in Minneapolis has briefly reminded municipalities across the continent that they, too, have crumbling infrastructure. Local officials have reacted to this tragic current event by reassuring their respective constituencies that they will do whatever they can to make sure their bridges are safe. But if that bridge in Minneapolis hadn't collapsed, would America's formerly-unconsidered bridges be getting all of this attention?

I'd guess they probably wouldn't.

From the sampling of subsequent news headlines listed below, it's interesting to see the many instances of government snapping into quick action to assess bridges and assuage the safety concerns of residents. Federal highway officials ordered states to immediately inspect the 700 other U.S. bridges that share a similar design with the collapsed Minneapolis bridge. Governors in many states ordered immediate inspections of their state's bridges. With more than half a million bridges in the U.S., bridge inspectors are sure to be busy in the coming weeks...