Actually this past year had the hottest winter on record here in Tampa despite several unusually cold days (Jan 18, 2018 was a record breaker) January was unusually warm and February was even warmer breaking several heat records even though there were several cool days too.
I'm sure that's true (despite the fact that Chicago and Pennsylvania are in question here). I can't tell from your link, but I'm willing to bet that was by a few degrees, not so much that normal bridges should fail and trucks should sink into the asphalt in unprecedented fashion.
For the bridge in the news well its been locked up by the heat before and as it ages and deforms its probably going to get a bit more finicky.
Thanks for the confirmation. This was fundamentally my point, which is not evident in the sensationalized news.
In Chicago May 2018 went down in the records books for heat as did June 2018 with the extra whammy that the minimum temps did not drop as low at night as they normally would be expected to, so structures heated up during the daytime were not cooling down as much at night, according to the June 2018 summary published on Sun Jul 1 2018 /1008 AM by the National Weather Service Chicago IL.
Was it the hottest month ever, or just the hottest May ever? Ironically, I quickly found a wikipedia page on the 1995 Chicago heat wave, which references one in 1988 and 1977 as well. I'm not disputing it was hot, nor that these events are occurring. Just that they marginally different, at best, from past experience in our lifetime. Certainly, since these structures were built.
We will need to build new infrastructure and even relocate or fortify our shorelines over time. Frankly, that is where our energy should be focused, not on most of the silly inconsequential stuff we do now. I'm just pushing back on that story making it seem like this is a modern, first time calamity.