Viaducts — A Case Study

by Rowland Richards, Jr., (M.ASCE), Assoc. Prof. of Civ. Engrg.; Univ. of Delaware, Newark, DE,
David G. Elms, Reader; Dept. of Civ. Engrg., Univ. of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand,

Serial Information: Engineering Issues: Journal of Professional Activities, 1974, Vol. 100, Issue 4, Pg. 293-312

Document Type: Journal Paper


Viaducts of various forms built of different materials in different ways are discussed in general, with the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnel and the Oosterschelde Bridge chosen as specific examples for comparison. Both structures are evaluated using economic performance and environmental criteria. While it is recognized by engineers that the study of failures is highly rewarding from the limited viewpoint of structural design, there is a pervasive tendency to avoid overall critical analysis of mediocre, good, and even excellent work. The case-study presented illustrates that the engineer has as much to learn from studying successful facilities as he does from unsuccessful ones. Moreover, such study requires and thereby encourages a broader view of his design function, so essential if he is to retain overall responsibility in the building of public works.

Subject Headings: Case studies | Viaducts | Bridge design | Failure analysis | Building design | Comparative studies | Construction materials | Bays

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