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Of all the possible causes of the deadly collapse of Minnesota's Interstate 35W bridge earlier this month—uneven traffic patterns, de-icing salts, faulty construction—the latest is the most surprising: Pigeons. Or more precisely, the waste the birds leave behind. "Pigeon dung can be a serious issue—it's acidic and will easily eat away almost any metal," explains engineer William Schutt, president of Matcor, a corrosion-protection firm in Doylestown, Pa.