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Chattanooga 1-75 N to I-24 W Overpass Partial Collapse
6

Chattanooga 1-75 N to I-24 W Overpass Partial Collapse

Chattanooga 1-75 N to I-24 W Overpass Partial Collapse

(OP)
Maintenance? What maintenance?

TDOT indicates this bridge was constructed in 1959 and last inspected July 2018.

The tree at the east support looks out of place and the gap between the beams (visible from underneath) on the west support looks odd. It also seems that the purchase on the west support was less than optimal. I hope the driver makes a complete recovery.

Image posted by Chattanooga Fire Dept.


From Google Earth











RE: Chattanooga 1-75 N to I-24 W Overpass Partial Collapse

Officials have reported that that the railing on 75 above may have been struck by a truck causing it to displace and fall on 24 below.

RE: Chattanooga 1-75 N to I-24 W Overpass Partial Collapse

Interesting to see a tree growing on a concrete bridge. Im no specialist on green engineering but I don't think tree roots on top of an abutment located in a cracked in the concrete is appropriate.

The interesting part I got from the news is this bridge was scheduled for 2019 rehabilitation. So the owner new it was bad and they made a plan to fix it but it failed before it was fixed. So is there any real discipline for the owner, unlikely as this is public infrastructure. If this was a private bridge crossing from industry would it be the same outcome, i think not. I believe if this was a private bridge crossing there would be civil and criminal investigations launched with financial penalties and charges against executives and the company.

RE: Chattanooga 1-75 N to I-24 W Overpass Partial Collapse

I-75 is part of the interstate system, so ultimately, the 'owner' is the taxpayer, be they state or federal, or more likely, a combination.

John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
EX-Product 'Evangelist'
Irvine, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

The secret of life is not finding someone to live with
It's finding someone you can't live without

RE: Chattanooga 1-75 N to I-24 W Overpass Partial Collapse

Quote:

The Tennessee Department of Transportation says an oversized load is likely what led to the collapse of part of an I-75 overpass late Monday morning.

According to TDOT Chief Engineer Paul Degges, 5 steel cables were cut on the bridge Monday, which he says is the main evidence for their prediction of what happened.

...

TDOT says when the structure came down, they saw the steel cables were not rusted underneath, but several were cut around the same area. They said it seems improbable that all five failed at the same time.

TDOT says the driver of a blue car collided with the concrete barrier. He is now listed in critical condition at a local hospital.

https://newschannel9.com/news/local/watch-live-t-d...

RE: Chattanooga 1-75 N to I-24 W Overpass Partial Collapse

I think that guy in Spartan5's linked video did a great job explaining things to the reporters, even in the face of some fairly dumb/trivial questions from particular reporters...

Rather than being scheduled to be fixed, it was actually scheduled for demolition due to the interchange being reconfigured.

RE: Chattanooga 1-75 N to I-24 W Overpass Partial Collapse

(OP)
Thanks for the links to the news reports and TDOT report.

The theory is that an oversized load impacted the overpass at some undetermined time prior to the collapse. The evidence supporting this is that five of the tension cables along the base of the beam are cleanly cut in a straight line.

Here are some screen captures of the cut cables.


RE: Chattanooga 1-75 N to I-24 W Overpass Partial Collapse

It is common for precast/prestress spans to be damaged by over-height vehicles and then repaired many times over, maybe too many times. When the strands are broken or badly damaged they will be cut out and replaced with a section of cable using couplers. Sometimes the span will be preloaded during the repair.

In the street view shots it looks like the span may have been previously repaired based on the irregular concrete lines. From the incident shots it looks like the tendons are cleanly cut which speaks of a repair, perhaps improperly executed. The failure near mid-span (directly above the left lane) also suggests a pre-existing weakness in the tendons at that point. The bridge file of record should show the repair history.

Interesting that the clearance was not posted on the span.

Edit: Here is a link to the location. The irregular concrete lines could just be distortion where the street view photos are stitched together.

https://www.google.ca/maps/@35.0029472,-85.2119007...

Another edit, sorry:

Is it not irresponsible to say on the one hand that you have no idea why something happened and then simultaneously express confidence that it cannot happen again?

Quote:

It's still not clear what caused the bridge's concrete railing to come crashing down, according to Tennessee Department of Transportation officials. However, they are confident the bridge, which was built in the 1950s, is structurally sound and its condition will not lead to further injuries.

Also what is the point of this kind of amateur damage control by TDOT? Their own spokesperson doesn't seem to understand how the bridge is constructed and the significance of the failure.

Quote:

TDOT spokeswoman Jennifer Flynn clarified that the bridge did not fall: "The bridge didn't collapse," she wrote in an email. "The railing fell off for some reason.

RE: Chattanooga 1-75 N to I-24 W Overpass Partial Collapse

Maybe the tree roots pushed it off...

RE: Chattanooga 1-75 N to I-24 W Overpass Partial Collapse

Google Maps Street View link. You can change between June 2011, June 2014, November 2017, and June 2018.
Nothing stands out to me, but my specialty is electrical, not civil.

https://goo.gl/maps/ZcJ784ULDdz

RE: Chattanooga 1-75 N to I-24 W Overpass Partial Collapse

Did the oversized load hit the bottom or the top?
Suppose an oversized load on top contacted the railing and forced it off of the support on the left.
Could the damage to the span and railing have happened when one end of the span hit the ground?

Bill
--------------------
"Why not the best?"
Jimmy Carter

RE: Chattanooga 1-75 N to I-24 W Overpass Partial Collapse

Something going under struck it and they believe it cut 5 out of 24ish strands based on chief engineer at dot in the video at Spartans link.

RE: Chattanooga 1-75 N to I-24 W Overpass Partial Collapse

Looking at the 2018 inspection report page 20 of 33 they call out an area with rebar and strands being exposed. Would this area line up with this or is that a different span? I can’t tell how to figure which beam is which.

Reading charliealphabravo‘s post got me wondering if a truck hitting the beam would cut the strand cleanly like they show in the picture. If the strand they used in the 50’s is like what we have now I would expect it to bend before breaking. Prestressing plants regularly harp the strands a considerable amount with no problems. Plus to cut the strand the impact would have to cut through the concrete. I would imagine the concrete would take the brunt of the impact.

RE: Chattanooga 1-75 N to I-24 W Overpass Partial Collapse

The engineer in the video seemed to think impacts like this were quite common and had happened before (i.e. damage to the strands was consistent with his previous experience of people impacting their bridges and damaging strands is what I took away from what he was explaining). A truck with a load going 65 miles an hour that just impacts/clips the load into the structure would quite easily slice through the concrete and steel if said strands were close to the surface I would suspect.

RE: Chattanooga 1-75 N to I-24 W Overpass Partial Collapse

5 out of 24 strands cut but no corrosion, and a sudden failure?
I am not abandoning my thought that a wide load may have tagged the railing and pushed it off.
I may be wrong so I'll wait and see.

Bill
--------------------
"Why not the best?"
Jimmy Carter

RE: Chattanooga 1-75 N to I-24 W Overpass Partial Collapse

Something just doesn't sit right w/ me that a truck or load impacted that beam with enough force to perfectly cut those strands and then drive away leaving a fallen girder in its wake.

RE: Chattanooga 1-75 N to I-24 W Overpass Partial Collapse

They thought it hung in there and collapsed at a later time based on the video. They have video monitoring, but are unable to record it (legally).

RE: Chattanooga 1-75 N to I-24 W Overpass Partial Collapse

The cable cuts are in the middle area where it broke?

RE: Chattanooga 1-75 N to I-24 W Overpass Partial Collapse

The first photograph in Sym P. le's post is a closeup of the second photograph.

The broken/cut strands are just to the left of the left deck drain (I see two drains in the street view) and are directly over the left lane where the member broke. They look like bottom strands, harped pre-stressing strands I'd guess in the box beam, and at the leading edge of the structure with respect to traffic.

Sorry another edit:

Perhaps someone who has more experience with precast could identify the steel plate near the end of the broken strands. I'm thinking that might be an embedded component used to depress the strands during the original prestressing.

RE: Chattanooga 1-75 N to I-24 W Overpass Partial Collapse

It looks like the ENR story is mostly based on the statements of the DOT talking heads from a couple of weeks ago which don't seem to be very sensible. I'd like to see the results of the forensic investigation they mentioned.

It's hard for me to imagine that a vehicle could strike the bridge as described and not leave a debris trail 2 lanes wide and 100 yards long and no witness marks on the other box beams. And to cut half a dozen embedded strands so cleanly with a high speed impact is inconceivable. The ENR story doesn't mention that one "railing" was reported as previously repaired which is where I would think an investigation would start since the strands look like they have been prepared for couplers like these:

RE: Chattanooga 1-75 N to I-24 W Overpass Partial Collapse

Quote (ENR)

...sliced through five 3⁄8-in.-dia reinforcing strands in the beam...

It appears the strands are only 3/8" diameter - however, severing strands of any diameter with such a clean-cut does appear unlikely.

FYI - strand couplers of the type above are not usually used in pretensioned strand repairs, usually GRABB-IT splice chucks are used (similar principle), with the added feature of being able to (partially) re-tension the individual strands (like a turnbuckle):



RE: Chattanooga 1-75 N to I-24 W Overpass Partial Collapse


Why was this pic not in early reports?

RE: Chattanooga 1-75 N to I-24 W Overpass Partial Collapse

Because that photo is a fake.

RE: Chattanooga 1-75 N to I-24 W Overpass Partial Collapse

Yes, look at the tires on the trailer. You can see where they're photo-shopped from an image where they were sitting on pavement as you can see the 'flat' spots.

John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
EX-Product 'Evangelist'
Irvine, CA
Siemens PLM:
UG/NX Museum:

The secret of life is not finding someone to live with
It's finding someone you can't live without

RE: Chattanooga 1-75 N to I-24 W Overpass Partial Collapse

Forget the tires. That trailer is defying the law of gravity. What's holding the trailer up in the air?

Bill
--------------------
"Why not the best?"
Jimmy Carter

RE: Chattanooga 1-75 N to I-24 W Overpass Partial Collapse

2
Helium delivery. It happens sometimes. If they load up with too much, they send a plane up to shoot them down. It would happen more often but helium is expensive and the bill for shooting a trailer down from 20,000 ft is more than most trucking firms are willing to risk. Thankfully the tractor held this one down.

RE: Chattanooga 1-75 N to I-24 W Overpass Partial Collapse

That's definitely a comment on the quality of Swift drivers; there are many comments, such as Swift standing for 'sure wish i'd finished training' and ' swing wide, its a fifty-three'.

RE: Chattanooga 1-75 N to I-24 W Overpass Partial Collapse

Quote (Helium delivery)


Maybe he was on his way to Party City. I read a story this morning that they're shutting down upwards of 75 stores because of a helium shortage.

RE: Chattanooga 1-75 N to I-24 W Overpass Partial Collapse

"Maybe he was on his way to Party City. I read a story this morning that they're shutting down upwards of 75 stores because of a helium shortage."

This is getting dire; we need to get the fusion industry up and running so that we can have our party balloon helium as a by product of generating power...

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

RE: Chattanooga 1-75 N to I-24 W Overpass Partial Collapse

One thing that lends credence to the collision hypothesis is what appears to be a slight shortage of debris after the beam dropped, but one would think that any collision that cut through the cables would have left debris on the roadway that someone had to clean up, so why wouldn't they have reported the damage to the beam?

TTFN (ta ta for now)
I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKorP55Aqvg
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers Entire Forum list http://www.eng-tips.com/forumlist.cfm

RE: Chattanooga 1-75 N to I-24 W Overpass Partial Collapse

@Phil1934

Don't feel too bad about getting fooled. The photoshops and viral video fakes are getting better and more common. I'm still a bit embarrassed over that video of the kid that built wings and took off by flapping his arms like some kind of pterodactyl. It should have been immediately obvious as impossible but the presentation was good and I forgot my common sense.

RE: Chattanooga 1-75 N to I-24 W Overpass Partial Collapse

CAB, Check Captain Disillusion on YouTube.

Probably the fake was just a jab at Swift. Of the several bad-trucking videos I've seen, I recall more than one trucker getting really angry and not surprised as a Swift driver shaves the mirrors off a parked truck trying to back a trailer into place or tears the fenders off a parked one while taking a turn too tight.

RE: Chattanooga 1-75 N to I-24 W Overpass Partial Collapse

Looks like another MCAS malfunction to me.

RE: Chattanooga 1-75 N to I-24 W Overpass Partial Collapse

I'm not sure if anyone has already brought this up, but it's interesting to look at the street view from google maps. Looks like cracking in the barrier wall and road.
Link



RE: Chattanooga 1-75 N to I-24 W Overpass Partial Collapse

I hadn't thought to look at the street view for the overpass.

You can see that the spans are continuously paved without exposed expansion joints, perhaps because the spans are short. The transverse pavement cracks appear at the ends of each of the three spans so they probably aren't significant.



There is evidence of a rather hard strike on the barrier, directly above where the span eventually failed.



Edit: Another angle showing direct damage and possible indications of rotation.




RE: Chattanooga 1-75 N to I-24 W Overpass Partial Collapse

This is what I see. The bottom side seems to have crack which is located close to the breaking point. The topside looks like a crack located at breaking point but may just be trash or something. It has a white appearance so maybe someone tried to fill it (however, it's just blurry enough cause question about a crack)? There is definitely strike damage on both sides of the road. Google maps is cool!

]
Obviously the photo is spliced but crack just below the photo splice?


RE: Chattanooga 1-75 N to I-24 W Overpass Partial Collapse

It is hard to distinguish between form lines and cracks with these poor quality photographs, but it does look like a crack in the first and second beam where you indicate. Also from the incident photographs it is hard to tell if only the beam on the leading edge (including the barrier) failed or if maybe more than one beam failed.



I think your second photograph shows the barrier on the approach span, not the main span that failed.

RE: Chattanooga 1-75 N to I-24 W Overpass Partial Collapse

Charlie,
Yes I agree. I was looking at the incorrect section on the top side. Thanks for your fantastic input. It would be interesting to read the report on this.

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