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construction defect

construction defect

Engineers usually prefer to notice out something wrong before it’s built rather than after and as a result engineering failures can be disastrous. However engineering failures have happened and, if nothing else, they’re a chance to learn what not to do next time. Once it opened in 1878, Scotland’s 3.2 km Tay bridge was the longest bridge in the world. It was so impressive that Queen Victoria knighted Thomas Bouch, the Tay bridge designer when she took the train across it. However on December 28, 1879, a train was crossing the Tay Bridge during a violent storm, once the middle of the bridge collapsed. The bridge, the train and the 60 or so people onboard crashed into the water below— there were no survivors. An official investigation found so many problems with the bridge’s design and construction that they couldn’t even figure out what failed first.

But as per their report,Bouch did just about everything wrong. They tested a lot of the bridge’s surviving components and found that they couldn’t stand anywhere near the pressure they were supposed to. So the bridge would have failed eventually, anyway,and the storm just accelerated things.
When investigators check out the columns that had been holding the bridge up, they saw that they were broken at the bottom,so the columns might have been responsible for the bridge’s collapse. The winds could have made the train rock as it wentalong, maybe even forcing it against the bridge’s walls. If that had happened, it might have put extra stress on those columns, breaking them and bringing the bridge down.

construction defect

Whatever the reason the Tay bridge fell,engineers found even more problems when they looked at some of Bouchees’ other projects. Number of their components were either just badly-made as the ones on the Tay bridge. Apparently, he simply wasn’t a very good engineer. The Tay bridge disaster made it clear that those projects were ticking time bombs and that bridge inspections had to be more thorough to stop these kinds of things from happening. The other bridges were either quickly repaired or destroyed to prevent another disaster. But The Tay bridge, of course, was not the last bridge to collapse.

The Quebec Bridge was set to be the longest bridge in the world. Construction began in 1900; however it collapsed TWICE before it eventually claimed the title in 1917. The bridges are made of bulky parts that support flat sections between them. During construction, workers kept noticing that some of the support pieces were bent more than they should have been. They were holding more weight than they were designed to, because the bridge ended up longer than it was originally planned to be. But to save time and money, extra support wasn’t added. The designers hoped that the problem could be fixed as construction went on, but at the end of the workday parts of the bridge collapsed under their own aweight, killing 75 workers. Construction resumed when investigators figured out what happened. Their main conclusion was that the bridge’s components simply weren’t strong enough. So the bridge was rebuilt much bigger and stronger. But, all that extra metal made it much heavier, too. was hoisted into place in 1916 the equipment bringing it up broke and they plunged into the river below this time 13 people died the Quebec bridges after was a reminder that it’s important to make sure that the thing you’re building can carry the weight you’re putting on it and it probably would not have happened today over the last century engineers have developed tons of new mathematical techniques and computer programs that probably would have caught the first collapse long before the bridge was built.

construction defect

Even before it opened in 1940 people detected something strange about Washington State’s tacoma narrows bridge. British designers tried to keep it from bouncing by installing shock absorbers but they weren’t very effective, then four months after it opened to the public one of its cables snapped from high the bridge was bouncing a strong wind and the other cables started to slide around. This let the bridge start twisting back and forth instead of bouncing and eventually the middle broke off and fell into the water below unlike the Tay and Quebec Bridge disasters there was only one fatality this time a dog named Tubby.

Tacoma Narrows failed because of something called aeroelastic flutter when that first cable snapped its side of the bridge fell slightly because it was less supported then other cables on that side pulled up like stretched out rubber bands and the bridge started twisting back and forth then the wind gave each twist a little boost so small boosts built up over the course of the morning and eventually twisted the bridge apart.

Engineers learned their lesson pretty quickly and reinforce the bronx Whitestone bridge in New York which is also known to flex in the wind and that bridge is still standing today but not all failed construction projects has been bridges thou the 40-story hyatt regency hotel opened in Kansas City, Missouri in 1980 and it quickly became known for its innovative atrium which featured three long walkways that seemed to float in the air the hotel called them “skywalks” instead of being supported by pillars each skywalk was suspended from long rods hanging down from the ceiling the second floor skywalk hung below the fourth floor skywalk with the third floor skywalk off to the side on separate supports their unique design made the huge atrium an ideal place to host events and parties like the one that the hotel hosted on july seventeenth 1981 about 1,600 people attended hundreds danced and talked in the atrium while others milled around the hotel and check out the famous skywalks then at 7:05 p.m. two of the skywalks suddenly collapsed without warning a hundred and fourteen people were killed and more than 200 were injured making the incident the deadliest structural collapse in US history until 9/11 happened 20 years later investigators found a small last-minute change to the rods holding the to collapsed skywalks that meant that instead of each holding its own weight they were linked together originally rods went from the ceiling all the way through the fourth floor skywalk and down to the second floor one with pieces underneath each skywalk supporting its immense weight but after the change the second floor skywalk hung from the fourth floor one so supports for the fourth floor skywalk weren’t just holding up 129 metric ton skywalk they were holding up two of them it also didn’t help that to save some money the building materials themselves weren’t quite as strong as they should have been and on the night of the party the extra weight of a couple dozen people standing on the skywalks proved to be too much.

What seemed like a small change to their construction ended up having terrible consequences. Manhattan Citicorp Tower which is currently known as 601 Lexington Avenue proves that projects with problems don’t always end in calamity but the skyscrapers triangular on top makes it stand out from afar, but you’d notice something else if you were simply walking by.
The stilts have been constructed to accommodate a church next door that basically said they could construct a skyscraper on the property as long as it didn’t block the church so the construction architecture just decided to start most of the tower nine stories up.
They knew that any tall building with so little on its bottom floors could be prone to toppling over on strong winds so they wanted to make sure that it could withstand even the strongest winds blowing towards its windows ,so they added extra weight to the top of the tower that moved in the opposite direction of any lean the wind might cause wind towards the skyscraper’s corners usually just sort of slides past the building ,so Citicorp Tower’s designers failed to check for them and that probably would have been fine if the stilts were on the corners but because that weird thing with the church the building’s stilts are in the middle of its sides and in 1978 about a year after the center opened a college engineering student figured out just how unstable the building was.

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