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Sabo Bridge report

Sabo Bridge report

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Published by: Minnesota Public Radio on Jun 29, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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MARTIN OLAV SABO PEDESTRIAN BRIDGECable Diaphragm Plate Fracture Investigation
Minneapolis Bridge #6925, State Bridge #27B35Minneapolis, MinnesotaFinal Report
June 28, 2012
WJE No. 2012.0901
Prepared for: 
Ms. Debra BriskAssistant County AdministratorPublic WorksHennepin CountyA-2303 Government Center300 South Sixth StreetMinneapolis, Minnesota 55487Ms. Heidi HamiltonDeputy Director, Public WorksCity of Minneapolis350 S. 5th Street, Rm 127Minneapolis, Minnesota 55415
Prepared by: 
Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc.
330 Pfingsten RoadNorthbrook, Illinois 60062847.272.7400 tel | 847.291.4813 fax
Cable Diaphragm Plate 9 of the Martin Olav Sabo Pedestrian Bridge over Hiawatha Avenue fractured onthe evening of Sunday February 19, 2012. The fracture was oriented so as to allow the portion of the plateconnected to the two stay cables to fall to the ground, with the cables still attached. Upon review,fractures and cracks were also discovered in Cable Diaphragm Plate 8. The Diaphragm Plate 8 damageleft each of the associated stay cables connected to the pylon. Winds were reported to be out of the south-southeast at 6 mph to 13 mph for several hours prior to the incident. The temperature was approximately23 degrees Fahrenheit.In response to this incident, Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc. (WJE) was retained by HennepinCounty and the City of Minneapolis to perform the following tasks: assist on site during stabilization of the structure; inspect the remaining in-service diaphragm plates using nondestructive test methods;determine the cause of the cable diaphragm plate failures; perform an independent review of the bridgedesign for Spans 1 through 3; and develop retrofit options to address any noted deficiencies.During the investigation, nondestructive testing of the sixteen remaining in-service diaphragm platesrevealed welding defects or cracks in two plates. A welding defect was removed from one plate, and atemporary redundancy fixture was installed over the other to provide load path redundancy. The otherfourteen cable diaphragm plates were found to not contain cracks.Samples from Cable Diaphragm Plates 8 and 9 were removed from the structure and analyzed todetermine the cause of cracking and fracture. In addition, materials tests for physical, chemical, andtoughness properties were performed. The plate samples were found contain evidence of extensive fatiguecracking prior to fracture. The steel plate material was found to be consistent with the requirements of theproject specifications. It should also be noted that the cable diaphragm plate assembly geometry containswelded details that provide poor fatigue resistance.An instrumentation program was developed and implemented to determine stresses and other structuralresponses to wind-induced cable vibrations. Wind speed and direction was recorded to correlate windeffects to this data. Low to moderate wind speeds with a direction approximately transverse to thestructure alignment result in cable vibrations that induce damaging stress cycles at the fatigue sensitivedetails of the cable diaphragm plates. These vibrations occur at high frequency, resulting in a largeaccumulation of stress cycles over short periods of wind-induced vibration.An independent review of the original bridge design was performed. The results from an independentfinite element model revealed that the primary bridge elements were adequately designed for the reportedloads. The effects of wind-induced cable vibrations were not included in the original design calculationspackage. However, a monitoring program was implemented following bridge construction to determine if stay cable vibrations were problematic. The results of the monitoring work indicated that stay cablevibrations were not a structural concern.Failure of Cable Diaphragm Plates 8 and 9 occurred due to fatigue cracking that initiated at weld toeswith low fatigue resistance. These welds connected the 3/4 inch thick diaphragm plates to the pylonflanges, and to the reinforcing ring plates used at the cable connection points. The fatigue cracks extendedto critical size in both plates due to wind-induced cable vibrations that resulted in unstable fractures.Retrofit options to upgrade the cable diaphragm plate connections are presented.

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