Write 8 pages thesis on the topic engineering disaster: the silver bridge collapse. Engineers are charged with the responsibility of designing and producing systems that meet the purpose for which they are designed. While this is the case, they also have to ensure that their designs and creations are safe when and when not loaded. The Silver Bridge collapse that occurred in 1967 is one incident that brings to light the importance of ensuring a high factor of safety and choosing the right materials in the design of engineering systems. .
The Silver Bridge was clearly the first eyebar suspension bridge of its ilk to be built in the U.S as noted by Ballard (1969). Apart from this, it had a number of special features that made it particularly unique. This section of the paper will discuss the special features that characterized the silver bridge and some of the concerns that experts had with respect to the innovative design and structure.
The Silver Bridge was built in 1928 and was designed to last at least a hundred years. The eyebar-chain suspension bridge was built over River Ohio to connect Gallipolis, Ohio, and Point Pleasant, West Virginia. The Silver Bridge was designed in line with the specifications prescribed by the American Society of Civil Engineers (Ballard 1969). It was designed as an H-15 load demand which means that the bridge had a limit in terms of the weight it could carry. The bridge was designed to have two lanes and measured 2,235 feet in terms of total length. It had a 22-foot roadway and a five-foot sidewalk.
For one, the silver bridge was special in its design considering the innovative material that was used to construct the chains. The eye-bar chains were made of high tension steel and .(Ballard, 1969). The eye-bars formed chain-like links as they were joined in pairs. The link between the two-inch by 12-inch eye-bars was formed using a huge pin (11 inches in size) that passed through the eyes of each piece. Each of the chains had a different length depending on their position on the bridge. .