A Review of Major Bridge Collapses and Why Essay

1968 Words 8 Pages
This essay will review major bridge collapses, and how they were resolved to improve the design of future bridges. The two main causes of bridge failure, wind loads and improper design or design flaws, will be discussed with examples like the Tacoma bridge collapse of 1940 and the I-35 Mississippi River bridge collapse of 2007 later on in the paper (4, 1). Although these are the two usual causes of bridge collapse there are also many other reasons for bridge failure such as, corrosion by environment, natural disasters, erosion, oversight of design criteria, loading beyond design, collision, and many different contributing factors. The goal of this essay is not only to discover why bridges collapse and give information on the subject, but to also see how a slight miscalculation or the oversight of some detail can lead to a momentous disaster. Although, a few cases of disaster, as will be seen, just cannot be helped.
Since the mid 1400’s, man has taken record of over 360 bridge collapses due to some form of disaster. Whether its design flaw, natural disaster, or even a manmade disaster, bridges have continued to collapse due to many different forms of collision. As highlighted in the opening paragraph, within the two main reasons for bridge collapse, there is one reason cannot be explained.
The somewhat recent bridge collapse in Seattle is an ideal example. The Lacey V. Murrow Memorial Bridge 1990 in Seattle crosses Lake Washington was designed as a floating bridge…