The International Information Center for Structural Engineers

Friday, 24 July 2015 11:17

The Collapse of Silver Bridge

Written by  TheStructuralEngineer.info

The Silver Bridge was an eyebar suspension bridge which was built in 1928 and took its name for the color of aluminum paint. The bridge linked Point Pleasant (West Virginia) to Gallipoli (Ohio) and passed over the Ohio River.


The Silver Bridge was an eyebar suspension bridge which was built in 1928 and took its name for the color of aluminum paint. The bridge linked Point Pleasant (West Virginia) to Gallipoli (Ohio) and passed over the Ohio River. On December 15, 1967, the bridge collapsed during rush-hour traffic. Thirty-seven vehicles were in the Silver Bridge, when collapsed, sending thirty one of these cars in the cold water of the river. Forty-six people were killed and nine others were seriously injured. Two of the victims were never found.

Investigation of the accident indicated that the cause of the collapse is the failure of a single eyebar, because of a small defect 0.1 inch (2,5 mm) in depth.
Analysis showed that the bridge was carrying much heavier loads than it had originally been designed for.

The accident is due to a small crack that was formed through fretting wear at the bearing, and grew through internal corrosion, a problem known as stress corrosion cracking. Residual stress in the eyebar that was created during construction was responsible for the accident. After the failure of the lower side, all the load was transferred to the other side of the eyebar; consequently ductile overload led inevitably to the collapse of the entire structure.

During that time, it was very difficult to notice cracks that could lead to the damage of the link due to inadequate technology.

In 1969 the Silver Memorial Bridge replaced the collapsed bridge.

 

Source: wikipediamywvhome.com

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