Science Channel’s Engineering Catastrophes TV show on Wednesday aired coverage of the Direct Connection Road/Wall Collapse in Bellmawr NJ! And Mark from 42Freeway is one of the on-air experts!
The Engineering Catastrophes video was filmed back in the Spring, months before NJDOT released their findings on the road collapse, so at the time they had experts give their opinions on the cause.
Since that time we now have that report and I’ve already reported and created videos on it… but I decided to do a new “Post Show Update” video which quickly overviews the project and issues, fills in some important knowledge gaps, and gives information on the collapse from the State’s report.
To be clear, there are two videos I am talking about:
- Engineering Catastrophes “Memphis Bridge of Doom” S6 E4 (Bellmawr is the last segment of this episode). Comcast/XFinity lists it as Episode 25! I am using what is on the official Science Channel website.
- 42Freeway “Post Show” Video Update which I just published to YouTube. Only about 11 mins long!
Those two links above are the key things about this post but keep scrolling and reading for more on both!
Also for more details on Direct Connection and the road collapse; 42Freeway Direct Connection Coverage
Direct Connection Road Collapse
If you aren’t familiar with this road collapse, in Camden County New Jersey (Bellmawr), the NJDOT and Federal Government are investing over a Billion dollars to improve a major road interchange for Routes 295/76/42. This interchange is key for traffic movement in the Philadelphia region and the Mid-Atlantic States.
While the full project was still being developed and no traffic was using it, on March 25, 2021 a core raised segment of the project collapsed.
The raised roadway is supported by a large wall, and a raised sand berm.
A combination of engineering design decisions and environmental conditions cause a segment of the roadway to collapse.
Engineering Catastrophes : Watching The Show
Engineering Catastrophes is a Science Channel TV Show which features the World’s Greatest Engineering Catastrophes.
The Science Channel is carried on Comcast Xfinity, Hulu Live Tv, Philo… but not YouTube TV (which ironically is what we use at the Matthews household. It was a challenge for me to watch my own big TV show appearance!)
Engineering Catastrophes covers disasters such as the Atlantic City Tropicana Parking Garage Collapse, and the Miami Condo Building Collapse.
Typically they show viewers what happened with the catastrophe; from the lead up to the event, the actual event, and then engineering analysis of why it happened.
For the Bellmawr project, when this was filmed the State had not yet released their findings. The producers went with engineering experts to give their opinions.
The Episode is listed as “Memphis Bridge of Doom”. Season 6, Episode 4.
If you have your log-in information for your TV provider (Xfinity) you can use it to log into Science Channel at that above link and watch the episode online. Or check “Video on Demand” with your TV provider.
There are 4 segments in the episode. Bellmawr is the last one. In the beginning the give an agenda of what is in the episode and don’t mention Bellmawr. Trust me its there at the end.
In the episode I (Mark!) am presented as an area journalist, and my contribution leans towards “color commentary”. Explaining the importance of the roadway, and a ray of hope for the future!
A Bellmawr resident also in on the show giving her local opinions to the project.
And as mentioned, several experts speak on the episode including a local professor.
I never met any of the other episode participants! I didn’t even know who was on the show until I saw it aired!
This is actually funny in that I didn’t even realize it had aired! I was up late and at 1am a friend messaged me on Facebook “Mark! I’m watching this catastrophe show and BOOM.. THERE IS YOUR FACE ON MY TV!”. Ha!
Mark’s After Show Update
As mentioned I just created my own “Post Show” update and update.
I wanted to share some aspects of the experience, but also since the show was filmed many months ago, we know SO MUCH MORE on the cause of the collapse.
So also considering that maybe folks from around the country will see the episode and “google” for more information and possibly find my YouTube video, I take a half-step back and do a quick overview of the project (mostly location and importance)
I also add in some additional details of the project.
And then I quickly review the high-level causes for the collapse, and future direction.
Well, watch the video and see for yourself!