WATCH: John Oliver on Infrastructure, Featuring Ed Rendell
Rendell wasn’t interviewed on the show, but it featured a clip of a 60 Minutes report from last year that included this tale:
In 2008 two contractors from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation stopped to get a sausage sandwich, and parked their cars under this bridge.
Ed Rendell: And fortunately they wanted that sausage sandwich because they saw one of these piers with an eight-foot gash in it about five inches wide. And oh, they knew automatically that this bridge was in deep trouble.
The section of I-95 was immediately shut down and blocked off while construction crews buttressed the column with steel girders. It was closed for three days, creating havoc in Philadelphia. But the city was lucky.
Ed Rendell: I mean, it was unbelievable. It’s so fortuitous.
Steve Kroft: And if they hadn’t wanted a sausage sandwich?
Ed Rendell: There’s a strong likelihood that bridge would have collapsed. These all are tragedies waiting to happen.
The clip, which is at the 6:39 mark of the above video, is cute not just for how an English person says “Philadelphia” but for Oliver’s jokes afterward.
There might have been a disaster if those Philly contractors hadn’t wanted to stop for a sausage sandwich, which means: We were fine, we were always going to be fine.
The scary thing is: What if the next cracked pillar in Philadelphia is next to a vegan smoothie stand? The bridge is going down and people are going to die.
At least one bridge in Philadelphia is being repaired soon: The Scary Baby Bridge is getting fixed.