On March 2018 a post-tensioned reinforced concrete (RC) truss bridge, built inside a North American university campus using the Accelerated Bridge Construction (ABC) method, collapsed during the construction phases, while the bars of a diagonal member were being re-tensioned. This process was not part of the scheduled construction phases, but it was decided by the designers after having observed several cracks in the structural nodes. This paper aims to analyse the final design of the bridge useful to determine the hypothetical causes of the collapse. Several numerical analyses have been performed to reproduce the behaviour of the different structural elements during the construction phases. In particular, construction stage analyses have been carried out to obtain the internal actions acting on the structural elements and on the nodes during the different construction steps and in order to analyse in detail the critical phases where the occurrence of the collapse has been hypothesized. The collapse mechanism is identified in the shear failure of a node of the concrete truss during the re-tensioning of a diagonal element. In fact, the reapplication of the post-tension had increased the axial force of the diagonal and consequently the shear action on the node. Moreover, the results obtained have shown that the bridge has never been in safe conditions, mainly because the interface surface of the cold joints had not undergone any type of work and remained smooth.

On the collapse of a post-tensioned reinforced concrete truss bridge during the construction phases

Marco Zucca
;
Sergio Tattoni;
2024-01-01

Abstract

On March 2018 a post-tensioned reinforced concrete (RC) truss bridge, built inside a North American university campus using the Accelerated Bridge Construction (ABC) method, collapsed during the construction phases, while the bars of a diagonal member were being re-tensioned. This process was not part of the scheduled construction phases, but it was decided by the designers after having observed several cracks in the structural nodes. This paper aims to analyse the final design of the bridge useful to determine the hypothetical causes of the collapse. Several numerical analyses have been performed to reproduce the behaviour of the different structural elements during the construction phases. In particular, construction stage analyses have been carried out to obtain the internal actions acting on the structural elements and on the nodes during the different construction steps and in order to analyse in detail the critical phases where the occurrence of the collapse has been hypothesized. The collapse mechanism is identified in the shear failure of a node of the concrete truss during the re-tensioning of a diagonal element. In fact, the reapplication of the post-tension had increased the axial force of the diagonal and consequently the shear action on the node. Moreover, the results obtained have shown that the bridge has never been in safe conditions, mainly because the interface surface of the cold joints had not undergone any type of work and remained smooth.
2024
reinforced concrete; truss bridge; construction stage analysis; collapse mechanism identification
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11584/388943
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