Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Bridge Collapse in Cincinnati Kills One


An old bridge on Interstate 75 was undergoing preparation for demolition late Monday when it collapsed, killing a construction worker and shutting down a stretch of the interstate for what could be days.
The "catastrophic pancake collapse" happened about 10:30 p.m. as a crew prepared for demolition of the old Hopple Street overpass, according to a statement from the City of Cincinnati. It was part of the old northbound off-ramp to Hopple Street. The new bridge is now open.
Yikes.  I would guess that somebody accidentally removed the wrong column or cut the wrong beam, or the demolition engineers missed how deteriorated a main support actually was.  Now the job is to clean up the mess as quickly and safely as possible.  It's not everyday you have a major interstate highway shut down in a metro area, but considering the amount of infrastructure in need of repair, and the lengths to which projects have to go to maintain traffic, it is somewhat surprising we don't have more of these accidents.  Luckily this wasn't as big of a disaster as the I-35W bridge collapse, but it is a reminder of the potential dangers and massive challenges facing the Tri-State region as it slowly moves toward the replacement of the Brent Spence Bridge.

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