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Forensic Collapse Investigation of a Concrete Bridge with Timber Piers

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Title: Forensic Collapse Investigation of a Concrete Bridge with Timber Piers
Author(s): Borello, Daniel J.; Andrawes, Bassem; Hajjar, Jerome; Olson, Scott Michael; Hansen, James; Buenker, Jason
Subject(s): timber piers bridge collapse investigation
Abstract: This report outlines the forensic investigation of the collapse of Bridge No. SN 019-5010 in DeKalb County, Illinois on August 19, 2008. The bridge consisted of three 42 feet precast prestressed concrete deck beams simply-supported by concrete pile caps with a timber pile foundation. Assessment based on site investigation, in situ readings, and analysis indicated that a geotechnical or superstructure failure may be ruled out. Samples of the oak timber piles were retrieved and tested under pure compression as well as combined compression and flexure. Laboratory testing results of these specimens were used to calibrate an analytical model of a full-scale single timber pile. The analytical model considered both symmetrical and unsymmetrical loading of the bridge. The results of the analytical model were used to determine the required live load to initiate collapse. The results of the investigation indicate that structural overload, leading to fracturing of the timber piles in combined compression and flexure, is the likely reason for the bridge failure.
Issue Date: 2009-04
Publisher: Illinois Center for Transportation (ICT)
Series/Report: FHWA-ICT-09-042
Genre: Technical Report
Type: Text
Language: English
Publication Status: published or submitted for publication
Peer Reviewed: is peer reviewed
Sponsor: ICT-R27-SP12
Date Available in IDEALS: 2009-09-23

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