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Speed, inattention and tailgating are cited as the cause of most crashes in areas where roadwork is under way.



For more information, contact Marisa Brown-Ellison, Community Relations Manager, 573-248-2502

June 09, 2011 02:41 PM
Parts of Old Bridge Over South Fabius River Will Be Used for Safety Research

HANNIBAL - As part of the Safe and Sound Bridge Improvement Program, the 75-year old truss bridge on Route 156 over the South Fabius River is being removed and replaced with a new, safer, wider bridge. Even though the truss bridge has been removed, several pieces are now being studied to determine safety of other similar bridges still in service. "We have benefited from many years of service from this bridge, and it's good to know it will continue to serve Missourians, only in a different capacity," said Preston Kramer, field engineer for MoDOT.

All bridges in Missouri are routinely inspected by a MoDOT bridge engineer, looking for deterioration, deformations and signs of distress. "If a bridge's structural integrity is in doubt, it will be closed," Kramer explained. The collapse of the west bound I-35 Bridge over the Mississippi River in Minneapolis, MN has prompted investigation for bridges beyond what is typically performed.

"The I-35 Bridge failed at a connection called a gusset plate, and it is this detail MoDOT is looking at closer," Kramer said. He went on to explain that engineers from the state bridge office in Jefferson City have been tasked with reanalyzing the designs for gusset plates on the state's truss bridges. "Many of these designs are over 50 years old and use rivets as the standard fasteners versus the bolted and/or welded connections used today," Kramer said. "What MoDOT and other DOT's found is that, according to current design codes and methodologies, the gusset plates themselves are fine, but the rivets should be showing visible signs of distress," he added. This prediction contrasts inspections that show the rivets to be performing fine and suggests that the rivets must be stronger than the current design code.

"The old Route 156 bridge and others like it have parts that have been donated to advance the engineering design," Kramer said. "Rivets are stronger than what industry had previously acknowledged, and engineers are now proposing a change which allows them to take advantage of the extra strength in their analysis," he added. Some metal and rivets from the old Route 156 Bridge are being tested to verify this update in engineering practice.

"We routinely recycle these old bridge structures after demolition" stated Kramer. He said the steel goes to any number of local metal recyclers and the concrete is usually broken up into useful sizes and used to stabilize slopes. "It is nice to know that this particular bridge also donated part of itself to further the science of bridge inspection and to help keep the public safe," Kramer added.

For more information about this bridge and others being worked on in northeast Missouri, go to www.modot.org/northeast and click on the Safe and Sound Bridge Program icon, or call MoDOT toll-free at 1-888-275-6636.

Cutline for photo: A gusset plate is found where two or more load bearing pieces come together on a bridge. It is more commonly found on truss-style bridges but can be found in multiple bridge types. It's primary purpose is to assist in transferring load from one piece to another. It can experience compressive, tensile, or shear forces; however, it is most susceptible to failure from shear forces (often combined with fatigue of the metal).

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