Baltimore bridge disaster

Not sure if this is anywhere else on dis but this is bloody scary

Tw bridge collapse

Not sure if bridges are supposed to be able to withstand a boat going into one of the pillars. Always sorta assumed they were built to take a hit like that :confused:

You’d think, but also it’s nearly 50 years old, ships have gotten a lot larger, and who knows how well it’s been maintained.

There was a federal report in the early years of the Obama administration about the quality of bridges and other pieces of infrastructure in the US and it was not good. Lots of stuff built between the end of WW2 and the late 1970s in particular that wasn’t being very well looked after. I don’t know how much progress was made off the back of that.

Obviously this is terrible but at least it didn’t happen during the daytime.


went through the main reddit thread a bit - not gonna post the speculation about injuries as just got no idea what it’s based at the moment

but people in/from the area say this is basically gonna fuck the place for months now. It’s an alternative route to two tunnels which are already completely snared up, people assuming this will add 2-3 hours each way to any journeys they want to make

looks awful

Yeah I remember reading something similar around the train derailments in the States. Mix of sprawling car dependent low density cities and low per capita investment in them

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Oh yeah, John Oliver did a show about the insane world of US freight rail last year. Well worth watching.


Presumably also fucks up shipping traffic too

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Again just nabbed from Reddit but someone mentioned one known bridge in Virginia that has been meant to be shut down for years as a risk - but doing it would add 5 hours to the journey time for big commercial vehicles

So it’s just … never happened

thi is a disaster of proportions it is going to be hard to comprehend.

  • obviosuly, firstly, there is the personal toll of the lives affected. like all major accidents, there is an element of luck to it - it happened at 1am, not 8am, meaning casulaties will be a lot lower, but that should be thought about first.
  • secondly, this bridge is a key traffic route across it, and that being out of action for what will likely be half a decade will have a huge impact on those living around it, and the environment.
  • thirdly, this bridge is a key traffic route under it. the salvage operation alone is going to be months, once the unload the vessel, ensure it’s able float / refloat it, remove the debris, etc etc, and then all the indutry is locked in, never mind the ships locked there and the cargo that will be displaced.

Baltimore is like the Rotterdam of the North East of North America.


look at this:

that’s cars being shipped in and out of the US.

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He also did one on Infrastructure 9 years ago.

The Hobart bridge collapse had a pretty disastrous impact on East Hobart for to becoming isolated way back in the day…

have now seen the video of the collapse (didn’t click on the link in the OP but got sent a twitter link on whatsapp)

it’s utterly surreal, can’t think of anything else I’ve seen like it

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Yeah. It’s really, oddly quick.

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i assume it’s the sudden release of tension that creates that extraordinary fast knock-on

caveat: i know nothing about this at all. @escutcheon @guntrip @marckee help your bro out here with science facts?

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I watched it on the BBC website

It’s clearly hit with a hell of a lot of force but still, was not expecting it to just completely fold in like 2 seconds

Proper nightmare stuff. Awful.

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It is a steel arch bridge design, which means it needs both sides to stay up. Once one side goes you can see the other side lift up under the moment of force on the peirs.

Think of it like a book on a desk, place a hand on the desk side and slide it over. You can push the book right over the edge but as you move it further and further, it will feel heavier and heaver as the force changes. What you’re seeing here is the removal of your hand and with nothing to hold it up, t it is a catastrophic failure.

Edit: for clarity and accuracy


this is extremely helpful, thank you

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I guess an additional point is that the bridge will be both being pulled to the right of a pier and to the left of the pier, as the structure pulls on both sides.

Some of the span is under tensions others are under compression.


Let me clarify that is actually isn’t a cantilever bridge but a through steel arch. That is what type you’re seeing is.

The principle is the same of tension and compression.

The reason it collapses is the creation of an unbalanced cantilever, basically.

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