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[POPULAR MECHANICS] How Fragile are Americas Bridges? - Page 5

post #41 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by markallen1988 View Post

I live in WA state, and I have driven over that bridge hundreds of times. The problem was not that the truck was too high, the truck was too high for the RIGHT LANE, and some a-hole in a semi was passing on the left preventing him from getting over. There was clearance on the left side of the roadway, the right side has about a foot less clearance if I remember correctly. Regardless, the thing should not have collapsed from getting clipped like that. Really shows how horrible our infrastructure is. Now if we could get our government to stop dropping trillions into the military and focus on the infrastructure instead, things might be different.

Here's a video of the bridge collapsing, you can see the semi passing through the load on the truck(it has no sides).

Also live in WA...

Can't really blame the person passing him. The semi should have been in the correct lane prior to reaching it.

Hadn't seen that video before though. thumb.gif
 
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post #42 of 89
Thread Starter 
Thanks MarkAllen for the Vid.

I think the bridge goes down a little to easy!
post #43 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by hatlesschimp View Post

They just dont make things like they used too! weirdsmiley.gif

*facepalm*
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post #44 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by deafboy View Post

Also live in WA...

Can't really blame the person passing him. The semi should have been in the correct lane prior to reaching it.

Hadn't seen that video before though. thumb.gif
I wasn't blaming the passing semi per se, the pilot car should have let the driver know it wouldn't clear in the right lane. But even if the driver had noticed he wouldn't clear, he couldn't get over at that point. Also, that other semi being on the bridge deck at the same time the oversized load impacted the bridge could have contributed to the collapse with all the additional weight being on the bridge. I personally wouldn't ever try to pass an oversized load on a two lane bridge, and I drive a Ford Focus. Guy had to be an idiot to attempt it in a semi. The lanes going over that bridge are pretty narrow.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hatlesschimp View Post

Thanks MarkAllen for the Vid.

I think the bridge goes down a little to easy!
you're welcome! Agreed.
Edited by markallen1988 - 6/3/13 at 2:54am
post #45 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by candy_van View Post

Lol yep. Had to cross it during a blizzard once; I kissed the driveway of my campus housing when finally got home.
Out of morbid curiousity were you heading toward or away from Jersey in that? I went to Quinnipiac so I was heading toward CT.

I was driving upstate to Albany, went to UAlbany so i love me some NY Thruway i-87 lol
post #46 of 89
Holy crap that is a scary video.

I am in VA and drive on i66 all the time, had a few support internal beams fall out of the bridge spanning over rt29. Millions of cars travel over that section all day long.
They had it fixed within a day or two, but just the thought of it collapsing like that in the video scares the crap outa me.

I pride myself on the stopping power of my car, but at 70mph I don't think I'd be able to stop in time if it dropped in front of me.
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post #47 of 89
I live in Pittsburgh, and drive across 4 or 5 bridges (depending on what you count as a bridge) every day... It was frightening to hear about that.

Recently, they inspected the approaches to the Freeport Bridge here in town and found that the mounts where the beams connected to one pillar had completely rotted away to nothing. They reduced the weight limit for the bridge from unlimited to 3 tons total until they repaired it.

The weight limit was ignored- as an example, my pickup, unloaded, weighs more than that, so driving it across alone exceeded the limit. And this is not a small bridge- 4 lanes, over a quarter mile long.

Now, they're replacing the whole bridge while I drive on it everyday. Its odd to look over into what was recently the opposite lane and see nothing but river. We had several bridges around where you could see river through the potholes. They're always doing major work on 3 or 4 bridges in town, but there's so many....

I big portion of the bridge problem here stemmed from them trying to make bridges last longer. Steel bridges are constantly rusting, so they decided to many of them out of rebar-reinforced concrete. But then the rebar rusted inside the concrete and pushed it apart. We have several bridges that have mini-bridges or nets under them merely to catch the chunks coming off.
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post #48 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by kevmatic View Post

I live in Pittsburgh, and drive across 4 or 5 bridges (depending on what you count as a bridge) every day... Its odd to look over into what was recently the opposite lane and see nothing but river. We had several bridges around where you could see river through the potholes.

*note to self* Do not go to Pittsburgh. Check!
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post #49 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kylepdalton View Post

Main problem is that no matter how much engineers and scientists shout and jump up an down about maintenance it goes largely ignored.

Right up to the point where a major incident occurs, then it is all "You incompetent engineers, why didn't you tell us?"

Been there, done that. Thankfully no-one died and we had all our warnings well documented.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kylepdalton View Post

A large part of our infrastructure was designed with a life span that is in the "safe estimate" zone. The problem with the "safe zone" is that it is generally only a third of what it will most likely last.

The problem with the "safe zone" is, as you mention at the end of your post, people don't understand it. Something lasts longer than its predicted life span, that means it is never going to fail...

Safe life, factor of safety and so on are often misunderstood by non-technical people. It is kind of like best before dates on food - sure the food is most likely perfectly edible after that date, but it marks the point at which the risks of food poisoning start to become unacceptable.
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post #50 of 89
The USA's bridges could be worse,

For example they could build another one of these:

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