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I-10 in California closed after bridge collapses


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Infrastructure is falling down! From Monday's USA Today! (Monday)




"PALM SPRINGS, Calif. — A bridge collapse in Southern California late Sunday afternoon forced the indefinite closure of Interstate 10 — the main roadway between Southern California and Phoenix. The collapse also injured one person and stranded hundreds of motorists.


A truck was headed east on I-10 when the Tex Wash bridge crumpled around 4:45 p.m. PT. Bystanders used straps from their cars to tie the truck to a guardrail to prevent it from washing away in the running water.


A passenger in the truck was able to get out, but the driver had to be rescued. Firefighters went into rapidly rising water to pull the driver out by 7 p.m."


More here: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2015/07/19/i-10-collapse-california/30399815/

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The local paper in Lake Havasu City reported this morning that I 10 is expected to be open one lane each direction on Friday 7/24/15. Both directions will be routed over the current westbound bridge which is still atanding.

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That same bridge was supposedly inspected several months earlier and deemed safe. :wacko: Kinda gives you a warm and fuzzy feeling doesn't it?


From what I read, the bridge failed because of recent torrential rains, not from lack of maintenance.

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That same bridge was supposedly inspected several months earlier and deemed safe.


The flash flood (common in the desert Southwest) caused the banks of the wash to crumble, undermining the bridge supports. This could have happened with a brand new bridge, too, and has nothing to do with how "safe" the bridge was.

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Hopefully in the future they will design new bridges or update old bridges to withstand those common flash floods. I imagine money will be the problem though.


I have designed bridge foundations for over 35 years now, and the awareness of designing bridges for scour (loss of support due to high flows) has been significantly raised since the collapse of the Schoharie Creek Bridge in New York killed 10 people back in 1987.


There are methods to predict scour and design bridge foundations to resist it, but the methods are imperfect. Predicting water volume and velocity due to flooding is approximate, as is the prediction of how fast and where the soils and rock supporting a bridge will erode away. Bridges designed and built in the past 20 years are more likely to have deeper foundations to account for future scour, and many older bridges are fine for predicted scour as well. But there is certainly an inventory of older bridges in this country that are more vulnerable to scour, and as you have guessed finding the money to go out and modify all of those bridges is a problem.

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