Grand Gusset Failure

by Arthur A. Huckelbridge, Jr., P.E., (M.ASCE), Assoc. Prof. of Civ. Engrg.; Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH,
Dean A. Palmer, P.E., (F.ASCE), Chairman; Richland Engineering Limited, Mansfield, OH,
Richard E. Snyder, P.E., (M.ASCE), Pres.; Bridge Weighing Systems, Inc., Novelty, OH,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1997, Vol. 67, Issue 9, Pg. 50-52

Document Type: Feature article


In May 1996, structural failure forced the closure of twin 850 ft long arched truss bridges, each carrying two lanes of interstate traffic over the Grand River, 30 mi east of Cleveland. At the time of failure, loads produced by painting equipment and trucks were approximately equal to or slightly higher than the full design loads in the critical compression members at joint L8. The gusset plates had also severely corroded. The collapse demanded an innovative mid-air repair scheme with no visible means of support.

Subject Headings: Failure loads | Structural failures | Failure analysis | Vehicle loads | Critical loads | Bridge failures | Water transportation

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