ASCE offers study on causes of bridge failures between 1989 and 2000

Asce LogoA new technical paper, Analysis of Recent Bridge Failures in the United States, written by Kumalasari Wardhana and Fabian C. HadiprionoP.E., F.ASCE, is now available at the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Library.

Data from more than 500 bridge failures in the United States occurring between 1989 and 2000 were studied and analyzed. The bridges ranged in age from 1 year (during construction) to 157 years.

The paper notes that the most frequent cause of bridge failures was attributed to floods and scour from the 1993 major flood disaster, which accounted for almost 53 percent of all failures. Collisions, including bridge overloads and impacts from trucks, barges/ships, and trains, accounted for 20 percent of bridge failures. Other causes included bridge design, detailing, construction, material, and maintenance, as well as human-induced events. Most failures occurred within the bridge’s service life.

To obtain a copy of the technical paper, go to the ASCE Library.