On January 15, the National Transportation Safety Board released a safety recommendation letter report to the FHWA related to the I-35W bridge collapse in Minneapolis Minnesota that claimed the lives of 13 people and injured 145. The safety recommendations are based on the findings of an interim report from the FHWA Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center that some gusset plates, components of the steel trusses, were undersized (not thick enough). This deficiency was confirmed to be a flaw in the design and not construction-related based on review of the original drawings from the 1960s and inspection of the wreckage. Whether this was a calculation error or a drafting error will perhaps never be known as only portions of the original design calculations were located. But the point is that it was never caught by any reviewers.
When this event first happened back on August 1, I remember being very shaken up by it. After my initial sadness for the victims of the accident, my first thought as a geotechnical engineer was: â€œwere the foundations at fault.â€ As more information came out, it quickly became evident that the failure did not have anything to do with the foundations but that it was related to the superstructure of the bridge. But this still was something that profoundly affected me. (Continuesâ€¦)
GeoPrac.net is now well into its toddler years! Today marks the second anniversary of the site. The past year has seen a major upgrade to the content management system, a new design, Geothreads, Delicious geotech, […]
Regular readers of GeoPrac are probably used to the sporadic nature of my blogging. Sometimes I add entries a couple times a week, sometimes once a week. But I wanted everyone to know why I haven’t posted in a while and why it may be kind of sporadic for the next few weeks as well.
My second daughter, Michaela (Makayla), was born on Thursday, March 13. I’ve been enjoying time at home with my family, helping my wife get adjusted to the prospect of two kids around the house! Thanks for your patience. I’m hoping that by next week’s 1-year anniversary of GeoPrac.net I’ll have a chance to write about "the state of the union" so to speak and talk a little about my goals for the site in the coming year. Thanks to all you loyal readers for sticking with me! — Randy (rockman)