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Nipigon River bridge


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#31 jpackard56 OFFLINE  

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Posted January 11, 2016 - 11:27 AM

 The company and I had been arguing about the need for quality controll but they didn't see the need. I got fired for arguing about safety with my boss(the other engineers agreed with me but he was the boss). A few months later some of the new hardware from China failed and killed 3 men and injured others. The chinese steel was less than 1/6th the strength it was supposed to be.

In 1989 the World Series Earthquake struck San Francisco. The double decker bridge was severely damaged. It took 26 years to replace it. The whole process was rife with shenanigans. A Chinese company got the project and it took longer and cost alot more than was planned. When they were ready to open it, they fround defective hardware and had to delay the opening. As I recall it will cost $500 million to replace the defective hardware. I guess they saved money by not having enough inspectors and not doing proper quality assurance.


When I started out in engineering, the supervisor spent alot of his time reviewing his engineers work to catch mistakes. Recent designs that I have seen show little evidence of review and are pretty sloppy. They just look at how much they saved by not spending time to review it. I'm very glad to be retired and out of it. Good Luck, Rick

We seem to be seeing more failures of structures under construction now than ever before.

Boyscout makes some very strong points that I have seen in my line of work as well. Not picking on just Chinese steel but many products being imported from countries I can't even pronounce sometimes are NOT of the quality we expect. I saw test results about two years ago from "BRAND NEW" imported nylon straps used in my line of work for holding heavy loads that can't use chains. BRAND NEW these things were failing at less than half the rating on the safety label. Not too many years back we didn't replace these straps until the internal safety thread became visible. That was the early warning that "hey this thing is worn and may not work to its limit." Now I'm seeing imported straps that when you cut thru them brand new don't even have the safety thread.! So, yes imports need to be carefully checked/scrutinized when any safety/building project is being considered.  Please note : I am not condemning ALL imports, some are very good and of high quality, we just need to make sure before all we look at is the $$$ up front.

 

Inspection and review should start with the design/prints as Boyscout points out. I have seen in the last few years where certain builders have used the same architects on more than one project and when I review prints I find portions that are just "cut and past" from other projects with wrong locations, soil types, conditions etc. How am I suppose to say something is safe when that kind of lack of attention and detail is in the working prints? Yes, review USED to be important, now everybody is looking at the "bottom price to squeak it thru" and "get-r-done" :(

 

Like Boyscout I too have lost positions in my working years because I would not bend on safety related issues.  The first company was out of business within a year. Thankfully I am not aware of anybody being hurt from the "short-cuts" or "why don't you go get some coffee" times from my last employer, but I can look in the mirror to shave knowing I did what I could... I have had several of my co-workers call me over the holidays and say "hey, Jim you did your job, they just chose to shoot the messenger" makes me feel a little better, but I'm not able to retire yet.

 

Thanks for letting me vent some :deadhorse:


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#32 JD DANNELS OFFLINE  

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Posted January 11, 2016 - 12:19 PM

Well then, on behalf of my fellow Americans,
Mi carretera, Su carretera...

Hope they get it fixed quick for you guys.
Turn a 10 minute commute into forced retirement if you live-work in the wrong spots

Years ago my brother lived in Palmdale, Ca. A big earthquake turned a 45 minute commute into a 3 1/2 hour drive through the mountains,


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#33 boyscout862 ONLINE  

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Posted January 11, 2016 - 12:29 PM

Like Boyscout I too have lost positions in my working years because I would not bend on safety related issues.  The first company was out of business within a year. Thankfully I am not aware of anybody being hurt from the "short-cuts" or "why don't you go get some coffee" times from my last employer, but I can look in the mirror to shave knowing I did what I could... I have had several of my co-workers call me over the holidays and say "hey, Jim you did your job, they just chose to shoot the messenger" makes me feel a little better, but I'm not able to retire yet.
 
Thanks for letting me vent some :deadhorse:


My dad taught me "nobody dies on my watch". I always took that very seriously and built my projects to last longer than the code required. It does help to have a clearer conscience. In forty years I only had 3 injuries on my job sites: my drunk platoon sergeant fell off a truck and broke his ankle, one of my soldiers fell off of his truck and opened his shin, a crane operator walked into his own boom and exposed a steel plate that had been in since the Korean War.

All we can do is try to do the right thing. Good Luck, Rick

Edited by boyscout862, January 11, 2016 - 12:30 PM.

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#34 LilysDad ONLINE  

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Posted January 11, 2016 - 01:49 PM

When I worked for the Illinois Tollway, it was a common form of cynical humor to make reference to"low bid work". I can't verify this ,though I have been told while low bid is common in America, in Europe they will toss out the highest and lowest bids and then decide from the rest. Can anyone else attest to this?
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#35 boyscout862 ONLINE  

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Posted January 11, 2016 - 02:11 PM

When I worked for the Illinois Tollway, it was a common form of cynical humor to make reference to"low bid work". I can't verify this ,though I have been told while low bid is common in America, in Europe they will toss out the highest and lowest bids and then decide from the rest. Can anyone else attest to this?


What you are suggesting would be an improvement but sometimes the lowest bidder is the best company to do the job. The problem is crooked people on both sides and politicians with their own interests in volved.

I can tell you that I was laid off because I refused to accept a lowest bidder who had a bad reputation. I checked his referrences and the first engineer started to laugh. He couldn't believe that the contractor listed him as a referrence. At that point the contractor was 18 months into a 6 month project and wasn't making any progress. I felt justified and took the layoff. Good Luck, Rick

Edited by boyscout862, January 11, 2016 - 02:13 PM.

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#36 boyscout862 ONLINE  

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Posted January 29, 2016 - 01:49 PM

New info on the bridge failure. Looks like bolt failure. Now they are testing them.  http://www.enr.com/a...idge-deck-split   Good Luck, Rick 


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#37 Jazz ONLINE  

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Posted January 30, 2016 - 02:57 PM

Previous Next

56acc46fafd23.image.jpg?resize=300%2C116 Without cable tie downs, it had nowhere to go but up

 

Without cable tie downs holding the deck to the ground there is nothing to keep the Nipigon River bridge from lifting in cold weather when the cables shrink, a structural engineer writes.

 

 
56acc46fafd23.image.jpg?resize=300%2C11656acc93ba873a.image.jpg?resize=300%2C97
 
 
 
 
 

Posted: Saturday, January 30, 2016 10:00 am | Updated: 10:20 am, Sat Jan 30, 2016.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR by Michael Hogan, Mississauga | 8 comments

Re Bridge Bolts To Be Physically Tested - CJ, Jan. 23

There is a design flaw in the Nipigon River Bridge. There are no tie down cables. I designed the first cable stayed post tensioned steel structure in the world in 1974 in suburban Chicago. Please visit the website below for a slide show. Notice the tie down cables under the roof - like an umbrella. The Nipigon River Bridge has no tie downs. A 100 degree F temperature change causes the longest cable to contract up to 3 inches. That cable alone requires 600,000 pounds of force to extend it 3 inches. Thus the bridge curled up.

Also, the end of the bridge twisted so that the north side rose twice as high as the south side which means the bolts in the expansion joint popped open like a shirt being torn open from top to bottom.

Finally, there are far too many cables (for show?) which means the deck is so light that it is no help in resisting uplift.

The bridge is costing at least five times what it would cost if designed using the fundamental engineering design concepts that were used in the train bridge beside it, or the highway bridge it is replacing.

The blame has already begun by focusing on the bolts instead of the design.

Michael Hogan

Mississauga


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#38 Greasy6020 OFFLINE  

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Posted January 31, 2016 - 02:11 AM

They said on the News tonight that the cold weather caused it.

Frost heaves???


Cold weather, over tightened bolts/cables contracting and failing, piss poor design meant for southern states, piss poor quality materials...

Ever wonder why it's the only bridge like this in ontario?
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#39 Bolens800uk OFFLINE  

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Posted January 31, 2016 - 04:05 AM

When I worked for the Illinois Tollway, it was a common form of cynical humor to make reference to"low bid work". I can't verify this ,though I have been told while low bid is common in America, in Europe they will toss out the highest and lowest bids and then decide from the rest. Can anyone else attest to this?


There was an acronym used by Government Departments in the UK back in the 90s, known as VFM other wise known as Value for Money. I believe it's common practice in the UK and within the EU (European Union) to tender for road building projects and the like. Each bid would be scrutinise and evaluated and then a decision made which could be the somewhere in the middle. Being part of the EU, it's not unusual to get bids from overseas within the Union. More often than not a lot of British companies will employ cheap labour from the former Eastern Blocs countries as they are hard workers and are paid lower than our British counterparts.

Health and Safety in the UK, often ridiculed for being over zealous, has the highest standards in the EU. Any deaths or injuries at work will be investigated by both the HSE (Health & Safety Executive) and the local council H&S department. If there's a case to be answered, the CPS (Crown Prosecution Service) will be involved as will the EU equilvent in Brussels, Belguim.
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