Another Common Environmental Factor That Engineers Are

1894 WordsMar 13, 20178 Pages
Another common environmental factor that engineers are concerned with when they consider the conditions of bridges is wind loads. These are especially a hazard to cable-supported bridges because the system relies on a delicate balance of pressure that holds up the bridge, which can be easily disturbed under high winds. One example of this is the Tacoma bridge failure in Washington state in 1940. While examining the evidence, engineers found that when the wind hits the body of the bridge, it creates forces that oscillated the bridge, which caused instability (Gianni and Gazzola). Additionally, when these bridges were built, the environment they were in was drastically different than it is today. Although engineers took population increase…show more content…
Although this was the specific reason for the collapse, the broader problem was inadequacies in state inspections and the federal government failing to audit the state`s work adequately. Another reason why designs of bridges fail is because there is not cohesiveness in the theory behind construction and actual construction. Sometimes construction is either too dependent on theory or ignorant of it, either way the assumptions made during design and construction are dangerous. This is shown in the case of the Williamsburg Bridge where: The rationale justifying the use of non-galvanized high strength cable wires on the Williamsburg Bridge was summarized as follows: ‘If the wires are maintained dry, they do not need zinc coating. If not, it will not save them in the long term.’ This reasoning may appear sound, yet it lacks both the practical knowledge of life-cycle cable performance and a theoretical model of wire deterioration. (Yanev 119) This gap between theory and practice in directly related to a gap between engineers and management. Currently, engineers are in control of the design and construction, but the process of this operation is given to management whose primary concern is cutting production cost. Consequently, necessary redundancies are lost during construction. Although this eliminates initial cost, it increases future cost because

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