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I35W Bridge Collapse: Design Issues in Past and Challenges Revealed for Future

[+] Author Affiliations
Su Halo

ACII, Inc., Wilmette, IL

Paper No. IMECE2010-38312, pp. 485-495; 11 pages
  • ASME 2010 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 11: New Developments in Simulation Methods and Software for Engineering Applications; Safety Engineering, Risk Analysis and Reliability Methods; Transportation Systems
  • Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, November 12–18, 2010
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4448-9
  • Copyright © 2010 by ASME


The past several decades can be remembered as the most successful period for engineering, which has also brought up great challenges to engineers to digest rapidly-developed ideas, new tools, and novel methodologies while to assure industrial designs and daily operations being safe, economic, and technologically advancing. This article discusses some particular issues in structural design, focused on the lessons learned from the highway I35W Bridge’s collapse that occurred at August 1st , 2007, based on a preliminary analysis of this disaster and an associated report submitted to the related administrative agencies [27]. By comparing the results in that report with the materials’ evidences of National Safety Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) official investigation [1,2] and the recent in-depth analyses [28,29], it seems that the issues addressed early may still have certain significance for the safety assessments of those similarly-structured steel bridges today. A bridge’s service life is 75 years or longer. According to a NTSB’s document [37], there are more than hundreds this kind of bridges still on service [4].

Copyright © 2010 by ASME



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