OT, somewhat, Memphis I40 bridge closure
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    Default OT, somewhat, Memphis I40 bridge closure

    Does anyone have any insight into the bridge? All I have found so far is a picture of a broken beam with no scale whatsoever as to size, other than I know it has to be large. I 40 is closed, but it has a detour. The Mississippi river under the bridge is also closed, and it has no detour. There is a lot of river traffic that isn't going anywhere.

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    There was at least one photo of a worker sitting on the beam, it was way too wide for him to straddle it. My guess is, it was a box beam about 3 feet square.

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    The break is after the rivetted joint. Could they just make longer fishplates and fix it back together that way?

    Serious question!

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    Seems like a total closure of the river is a bad move.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gbent View Post
    Does anyone have any insight into the bridge? All I have found so far is a picture of a broken beam with no scale whatsoever as to size, other than I know it has to be large. I 40 is closed, but it has a detour. The Mississippi river under the bridge is also closed, and it has no detour. There is a lot of river traffic that isn't going anywhere.
    Man I was sad for all the people which use the bridge yet glad it did not collapse. Lots of work for American steel makers in infrastructure.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rand View Post
    The break is after the rivetted joint. Could they just make longer fishplates and fix it back together that way?

    Serious question!
    I saw that, I think it shows the joint is too highly constrained.

    All the welding and re-enforcing (even with rivets) is the wrong approach

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rand View Post
    The break is after the rivetted joint. Could they just make longer fishplates and fix it back together that way?

    Serious question!
    I think that they are very concerned about a couple of things.

    First is that the bridge is a multiple arch suspension bridge. The beam that is cracked Should not inducing the kinds of forces into the rivet joint that seemed to cause the problem. The vertical stays should be carry all of the road deck weight. The beam that is cracked should only be under tension to keep the arch ends pulled together.

    This brings us to the second point and that is that Memphis and this bridge lie on the southern portion of the New Madrid Fault. For anybody that does not know, the New Madrid Fault has experienced the some of largest earthquakes in North America.

    The problem that the I40 bridge has might possibly be an indicator that the fracture zone in the area has or is moving which is a much much bigger problem to solve and also is an potential indicator of a substantial future earthquake. Now what I just said is basically conjecture from knowing the area.

    The bridge does set on bedrock which is part of the fault line and if the beam crack was caused by bridge pier movement, it will be complicated to address. It is one thing to pursue this as a simple structural problem which in itself would be a significant task but add in the other issue and it is not going to be easily solved.

    As has been mentioned before, the bridge closure itself is a huge inconvenience, however the stopped river traffic is a huge deal as it basically has cut off all river traffic to and from the gulf. The only alternative is to use the Tombigbee in waterway in Mobile Al. to gain access from the gulf to the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers.

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    Seems they have reopened the river. The picture I saw showed a massive steel beam broken clear through.

    https://www.commercialappeal.com/sto...001/?gnt-cfr=1

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    According to the report I read, three of the four plates (sides of the box beam) were completely sundered. The bottom plate was still holding together, but even it was 20% fractured.

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    Interesting, we had a local bridge suffer a large crack in a support beam over the winter. Fairly new bridge too, maybe 20 years old. Evidently the only fix is to to totally demolish it and start over.

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    Quote Originally Posted by plastikdreams View Post
    Interesting, we had a local bridge suffer a large crack in a support beam over the winter. Fairly new bridge too, maybe 20 years old. Evidently the only fix is to to totally demolish it and start over.
    I used to live in Joisey. Which exit, I mean, bridge is having trouble?

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    The 50 year old bridge had the expansion joints and many of the structural members replaced/reinforced as part of a earthquake retrofit that occurred between 2000 and 2015 . This article suggests that the girder reinforcement retrofit may be the cause of the failure.


    Is seismic retrofit to blame for ‘unusual’ failure in Mississippi River bridge? | New Civil Engineer

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    I ran into one of the people responsible for closing the bridge. They do not fully understand the nature of the failure yet. Hence they are being extremely cautious.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Milland View Post
    I used to live in Joisey. Which exit, I mean, bridge is having trouble?
    Weldon road Bridge over rt15 in Morris County.

    302 Moved

    Per the article it's older than I thought, built in 1972...

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    Spam Report!

    This link leads to a demand that I PAY to see the photo and story. I wish people would NOT use links like that. There is NO WAY I will ever pay such blackmail.



    Quote Originally Posted by henrya View Post
    Seems they have reopened the river. The picture I saw showed a massive steel beam broken clear through.

    https://www.commercialappeal.com/sto...001/?gnt-cfr=1

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    The good news is there is another bridge about two miles downstream on I55. So the detour will be relatively short.

    I have used that bridge a number of times on trips and the bad news is the traffic was always heavy. I imagine the delays are long and the traffic will be backed for miles in day time hours and into the evening,

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    Looking at the rusty stain down the crack ,the beam has been cracked to some extent for a long time......realigning the broken ends may be the riskiest part......many years the Westgate bridge suddenly collapsed when a contractor was forcing misaligned girder sections together.

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    Quote Originally Posted by plastikdreams View Post
    Weldon road Bridge over rt15 in Morris County.

    302 Moved

    Per the article it's older than I thought, built in 1972...
    That's too bad for the users, but fortunately found before it could become a tragedy.

    I lived in the Hackensack area, and don't think I ever crossed this particular bridge. Long since moved on from NJ, only go back extremely rarely.
    Last edited by Milland; 05-15-2021 at 05:47 AM. Reason: Stupid fingers and their typos...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Milland View Post
    That's too bad for the users, but fortunately found before it could become a tragedy.

    I lived in the Hackensack area, and don't think I ever crossed this particular bridge. Long since moved on from NJ, only go back extremely rarely.
    Who needs a house out in Hackensack, is that all you get for your money?

    Nj would be a great state if taxes weren't so damn high...I pay just shy of 9k a year on a house with maybe 3/4 acre of land...my parents in SC have a brand new, much larger house on about the same amount of land and they pay like 750 a year for taxes...

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    Quote Originally Posted by EPAIII View Post
    Spam Report!

    This link leads to a demand that I PAY to see the photo and story. I wish people would NOT use links like that. There is NO WAY I will ever pay such blackmail.
    When I went there it allowed me to see 15 photos of the bridge damage without signing up. The link leads to the website of the Commercial Appeal which has been the big Memphis newspaper since befoe the Civil War. Like every other newspaper these days it pursues a policy of trying to sign up subscribers. But its not spam and neither was my post.

    The site will let you see free articles after you click out of the sign up page. You do not have sign up for anything. Here is another article on the bridge break. But don’t go there if you’re the sensitive type or can’t think through a simple problem.

    How quickly can the I-40 Herman de Soto Bridge be fixed?


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