FIU Pedestrian Bridge Collapse: Testing of Full Size Replicas of Failed Connection

  • 14 Jul 2020
  • 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
  • GoToWebinar

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Presentation Summary:

WJE carried out independent studies related to the 2018 collapse of the FIU Pedestrian Bridge in Miami. Most significantly, WJE developed and tested full-sized specimens to evaluate the significance of the National Transportation Safety Board’s (NTSB’s) finding that the construction joint between the northernmost diagonal and deck was left in an as-placed condition, rather than intentionally roughened as required by the project specifications. The webinar also describes WJE’s independent review of shear friction strength in accordance with the AASHTO Code.

NTSB is scheduled to present their investigation of the collapse at the General Session of the Committee on Bridges and Structures meeting on June 1. However, the investigation by NTSB and FHWA did not include testing to evaluate the relationship between surface preparation and shear-friction strength.

The presentation describes the details of the experimental program that demonstrated that, had the construction joint been roughened as required by the project specifications, the collapse would not have occurred. Contrary to NTSB’s findings, the contractor’s failure to roughen the surface was the primary cause of the collapse.

About the Speaker:

Gary J. Klein, P.E., S.E., is Executive Vice President and Senior Principal for Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc. For 40 years, Gary Klein has studied and delivered solutions for buildings and bridges suffering from deterioration, distress or failure. He has investigated numerous structural collapses, including the 2018 collapse of the FIU pedestrian bridge in Miami. Mr. Klein, a licensed structural engineer, has authored more than 40 papers. Mr. Klein is an Honorary Member of the American Concrete Institute and served for more than 25 years on ACI 318 (Building Code) and ACI 445 (Shear and Torsion). In 2016, Mr. Klein was elected to the National Academy of Engineering for sharing lessons learned from infrastructure failure investigations.


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