Miller Hill Mall Infrastructure in question

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With a portion of the roof of Miller Hill Mall caving in earlier this morning, Tuesday, it has many left questioning, how? We sat down with Brock Hedegaard, an Associate Professor of Civil Engineering at the University of Minnesota Duluth to discuss.

“I mean, there was a lot of snow on the roof and we got a lot of snow over the weekend. And so, with that amount of weight, and a building that is 50 years old, I don’t really know what it was designed to handle, but it was a pretty extreme amount of snow. I mean, that much load is going to just put it down,” says Hedegaard.

The roof collapsing on a major infrastructure such as the Mall is something out of a movie, things like that just don’t happen often, or do they?

“I don’t want to say it’s like a freak accident or anything like that. It’s definitely not common. But, you know, these things do happen and they’re not designed to be invincible,” continues Hedegaard.

Overall, Hedegaard says snow is what he believes is the main factor in the collapse.

“I will ballpark it. If you have 40 feet by 80 feet, that’s, you know, 3000 square feet, or about 3200. And then if you have 50 pounds of snow every square foot, you’re looking at 160,000 pounds of snow. So 80 tons. That’s a lot of weight,” finishes Hedegaard.