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[POPULAR MECHANICS] How Fragile are Americas Bridges?

post #1 of 89
Thread Starter 
http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/engineering/infrastructure/just-how-fragile-are-americas-bridges-15526104


Quote:
Following last week's I-5 bridge collapse near Mount Vernon, Wash., the AP reported that the bridge was not structurally deficient but was functionally obsolete, and listed the bridge's “sufficiency rating," at 47 out of 100. But what does any of that bridge jargon mean to anyone who isn't a civil engineer?

U.S. infrastructure is crumbling. But aside from the occasional report card issued by the American Society of Civil Engineers, which gives letter grades in categories such as bridges and drinking water based on the wide-ranging assessments of its members, there's no unified measurement for the status of different types of infrastructures. So when a bridge collapses, we're presented with terms fit for bridge inspectors.

They just dont make things like they used too! weirdsmiley.gif
post #2 of 89
but if we maintain our infrastructure so that it doesn't randomly collapse, we might have to raise taxes on the wealthy very, very slightly
post #3 of 89
thanks for a good news article. Sad though, as an Engineer, it really tarnishes the names of those involved when the cities don't fork over the dough for annual inspection and maintenance costs.
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post #4 of 89
Usually collapses like this happen in poor and corrupt third world hellholes, I guess USA is not any better. They don't have or don't want to use tax dollars for inspecting and repairing bridges and roads before they crumble.
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post #5 of 89
For the record, that bridge collapsed because a truck that was too high tried to go under it. It didn't just fall down tongue.gif.
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post #6 of 89
Thread Starter 
I work in the heavy & construction Industries and the biggest stuff up I've seen was at a gas plant. They built a flare tower 80m - 100m high that cost millions and a random worker asked one of the office big wig's "is it cyclone rated?" NOPE! So they had to rip it down and redesign and build a new rated flare tower. It was so funny because it was our competitor that built it. We were basically paying out on each other the whole length of the job but after that they went quite.
post #7 of 89
In all the movies the Golden Gate and Brooklyn Bridge always get destroyed so they must be very weak.
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post #8 of 89
Old news.

Why, OP, do you buy into media sensationalism? A truck that was too high and hit the bridge, the bridge didn't collapse by itself.

According to you, the Golden Gate bridge may collapse in the near future… kookoo.gif
post #9 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazy9000 View Post

For the record, that bridge collapsed because a truck that was too high tried to go under it. It didn't just fall down tongue.gif.

i read the comments too, turns out the driver measured the height of his load and the maximum height on the bridge wasn't posted...

10 dollar sign 15 million dollar bridge...yep stupidity has won the day.
Quote:
The factor that brought down the I-5 bridge was bureaucratic incompetence. The bridge had been hit before by oversize loads. The driver had the state issued permits for the oversize load and listed it at 15'-9". The driver checked his load height to confirm it. The bridge had a minimum height of 14'-9" and it was NOT posted. The state did not require posting of the bridge height unless it was less than 14'-5" if memory serves. Even though the bridge had been hit before, and even though the state knew the height of the driver's load, there was no notice that the load was too big. There was no way for the driver to know the bridge height unless he stopped and measured the bridge. The state would rather pay $15 million for a replacement bridge than buy a $10 sign or just put the height limit on Google Earth and let the drivers have a chance. This is not rocket science!
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post #10 of 89
Tappan Zee bridge is the worst by far. Go over that in heavy traffic on a windy day, I double dog dare you.
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