Bailey's Crossroads Collapse Reviewed

by Ingvar Schousboe, (F.ASCE), Civ. Eng. and Prof. of Architecture; Univ. of Illinois, Urbana, Ill.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Construction Division, 1976, Vol. 102, Issue 2, Pg. 365-378

Document Type: Journal Paper


On March 2, 1973 a 24-story reinforced concrete flat plate building under construction at Bailey's Crossroads, Virginia suffered a partial collapse followed by a total collapse of an adjacent unfinished two-story post-tensioned parking facility. Subsequent investigations into the history of the buildings, construction procedures, materials (by testing), weather records and contract documents, in addition to computational analyses of the structure are reviewed. Supplemented by a study of the conditions and activities at the site on the day of the collapse and statements and testimony from people present or connected with the project, the investigations reach the conclusion that the collapse began as a shear failure in the 23rd floor slab, caused by premature removal of shoring between the 22nd and the 23rd floors below the fresh concrete.

Subject Headings: Material failures | Structural failures | Reinforced concrete | Parking facilities | Construction materials | Material tests | Site investigation | Shear failures | Virginia | United States

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