It's Officially Too Hot Out When Even The Damn Bridge Needs Cooling Off (Updated)

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The northeastern United States experienced some near-record high temperatures this past weekend. These extreme temperatures not only affected how people spent their time outdoors (see also: didn’t), but also the infrastructure. That’s when you know it’s officially Too Damn Hot Out. Clarification: The heat affects how the bridge raises to let boats pass through.

Like everything else, metal expands when heated up. I had previously thought that you needed to heat the metal in something like a forge in order for it to undergo significant expansion. Not so.

ABC News posted a video to its Twitter account yesterday of the fire department hosing down the Michigan Avenue Bridge in Chicago. They were doing this because it was so hot out, the steel had expanded and reduced clearance for boats to pass by underneath.


That is ridiculous!

According to, the high in Chicago yesterday was only 93.2 degrees Fahrenheit, which doesn’t seem that hot. But apparently it was hot enough to grow the bridge to a point where boats couldn’t fit underneath anymore.

Climate change is real, everyone. Stay hydrated out there.

Clarification 3:10 p.m. EST: The heat caused the mechanism that allows the bridge to raise up or close to become inoperable, according to WREX. This is what city workers were trying to cool off.