Things Change

I always read the Confidential Reporting on Structural Safety newsletters, because the types of errors reported appear everywhere. The specifics don’t really matter as much as the reasons why the errors have occurred. The latest newsletter had an item that got me thinking about a category error that we all make at times. Report number …

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Concrete, Part 4

I’ve said that different materials lend themselves to different forms, and that there is such a thing as a concrete-inflected structural type. That idea leads, unfortunately, to a discussion of the collapse of the Morandi Bridge in Genoa last August. The bridge had a number fo different components (click on the picture above to expand it) …

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Almost Isn’t Good Enough

That’s a picture of a handrail where the riverfront walkway meets a wood pseudo-pier. (“Pseudo” because I’ve never seen any kind of boat docked there but I have seen a fair number of sunbathers there.) The upper portions of the handrail are in good condition and have been repainted not so long ago; the embedded …

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Public Involvement

A couple of current projects involving neighboring construction, combined with CROSS/SCOSS newsletter 52, got me thinking about how we prevent structural failures and how we prevent minor or incipient failures from become tragedies. Obviously the first line of defense against failure is the work of structural engineers (in all capacities, including design, review, and inspection) and …

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Forensic Engineering And The Press

This article from the New York Times on the collapse of the central bridge of the highway viaduct in Genoa is worth reading. It covers the topic well and has excellent graphics to help explain some of the more difficult engineering topics. I generally do not want to spend a lot of time discussing current-day …

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