Analysis of critical gusset plates in the collapsed I-35W Bridge

Minmao Liao, Taichiro Okazaki, Roberto Ballarini, Arturo E Schultz, Theodore V. Galambos

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Investigation led by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) suggests that inadequate design of gusset plates played a key role in the collapse of the I-35W Bridge in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The particular gusset plate connection was at a panel point designated as U10. Further understanding of the behavior of the U10 gusset plates is essential. In the present study, the U10 gusset plates were analyzed using detailed nonlinear finite element models. The forces delivered to panel point U10 were reproduced using available information of the bridge. These forces were, in turn, used to calculate possible stress and strain states of the U10 gusset plates. The results indicate that substantial portions of the U10 gusset plates were yielded at the time of collapse. Weight increase due to deck reconstruction, staged construction materials, and thermal effects, along with insufficient strength of the gusset plate, seem to be the main contributing factors to the substantial yielding. The results also suggest that the interaction of largecompression and large shear should be addressed. This interaction is not well understood.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2009 Structures Congress - Don't Mess with Structural Engineers
Subtitle of host publicationExpanding Our Role
Pages2159-2168
Number of pages10
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 14 2009
Event2009 Structures Congress - Don't Mess with Structural Engineers: Expanding Our Role - Austin, TX, United States
Duration: Apr 30 2009May 2 2009

Publication series

NameProceedings of the 2009 Structures Congress - Don't Mess with Structural Engineers: Expanding Our Role

Other

Other2009 Structures Congress - Don't Mess with Structural Engineers: Expanding Our Role
CountryUnited States
CityAustin, TX
Period4/30/095/2/09

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