Skip to comments.Experts raise new doubts about essential Bay Bridge rods
Posted on 12/08/2013 12:37:55 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
Yun Chung, a retired engineer and metallurgist, read the official report explaining why massive, high-strength steel rods on the new San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge broke last March and was stunned then alarmed.
At first glance, Chung said about the July report, he saw obvious errors some typographical, others that confused basic terminology. Digging deeper, he discovered more important problems. He concluded that the analysis defied metallurgical science and common sense.
I think its very shameful that in this public document, this important (oversight) report, there are so many errors. (I have) a sense of outrage, Chung said in an interview last week.
Chung said he couldnt understand how the oversight group, its consultants, and even a review team from the Federal Highway Administration missed such an obvious conclusion: Over five years, water corroded the bottoms of the rods where all 32 breaks occurred. That was the primary reason they snapped when tightened. Corrosion introduced too much hydrogen into the steel at those locations.
Underplaying the environmental cause for the breaks the most fundamental error in the (oversight) report Chung and Thomas wrote, led to apparent complacency among oversight officials about future corrosion from the bays marine conditions.
As a precaution against corrosion, giant rods on the suspension spans eastern anchorage and others at the top and base of the tower are housed inside a watertight, dehumidified chamber so moisture is not readily present, according to the oversight groups report.
Chung and Thomas said that in the bays marine air, the chambers must be more than watertight they should be airtight to prevent corrosion. Pizzo agreed that airtight chambers would be necessary...
(Excerpt) Read more at sacbee.com ...
Gues he never heard of “Affirmative Action Hiring”....
Well if they fix the problems but don’t really “fix” the problems there are still problems and they get to keep on “fixing” them with money from the people and it keeps the union people working FOREVER.
OOoooh. Like the Obamacare website? Taxpayers really do get the shaft— hard.
you mean kind of like FDRs program of “You guys dig a hole here and dump it over there, then the 2nd shift moves it back into the hole.”
Rinse and repeat
I think I recall there being a big to-do about this bridge having been pre-fabricated in China.
“When it was built in 1936, the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge was a Depression-era project that put scores of Americans to work. When its $6.3 billion replacement opens in two years, it will be an international affair from the bottom up, an example of massive outsourcing that has drawn both praise and criticism.
Half a dozen countries contributed expertise or materials, none more so than China.
“China was immensely helpful to getting this project built,” says California Department of Transportation spokesman Bart Ney. “They were able to turn the steel around and work directly with our own inspectors to make sure we met the specifications of what this bridge required.”
Several thousand Chinese workers spent five years fabricating the steel used to construct the roadbeds, cable strands, and landmark tower for the single anchor suspension bridge set to open in 2013.
But the project is sparking outrage among groups who argue the work should have stayed here.
Huge deck segments were shipped overseas from Shanghai, contributing to pollution, say critics, and delivering another blow to California’s battered economy and 12 % unemployment rate.”.................
FR-er Metallurgical wonks please respond, is this a form of "Hydrogen Embrittlement"?
Here in Seattle they just tore down a 13-story skyscraper. It was built about 10 years ago. They started having corrosion in the pre-tensioned wires. They were supposed to have a dab of epoxy on the ends. The guy didn’t do his job. And managers, inspectors, etc. didn’t do their jobs. They spent millions trying to fix the problem to no avail.
Funny thing is, it was built by the carpenter’s union FOR the carpenter’s union. To be a source of income for their pensions.
I’m guessing it will be a tad more expensive to tear down the bridge and start from scratch.
“....Replacement of the rods, which are embedded in the foundation, would be difficult if not impossible. My concern with the (tower) anchor rods is that theres no redundancy, Chung said. Once they break, theres nothing you can do.
Chung and Thomas also identified unexplained hardness profiles in many rods, including those at the main cable eastern anchorage and those anchoring the tower. Contrary to normal expectations, some of the rods are harder internally than at their edges....”
Yet, every day, on web forums just like this one, the outcry against grammar and spelling "Nazis" continues afresh. It all "counts," despite the cries from the tablet- and smartphone-enhanced thumbtypists, just like that stick-in-the-mud, behind-the-times teacher tried to tell many of us when swimming against the technology tide.
Policy should be....Read what is intended, if you need clarification between their , there and they’re ask it , move on, don’t be a smug grammatical a hole.
Not a comment on the concerns or article, but I used to work a lot with metallurgists, and once one told me if you want three opinions on on why something failed or corroded just hire two metallurgists. In short often failure is not always derived exactly.
You forgot “Well, you know what I meant.”
I’m feeling a bit of schadenfreude for the carpenters union there.
Is the author of the report a "smug grammatical a-hole" or just an engineer with a justifiable concern about people dying?
I wonder how many kick-backs there given and received up and down the chain of command.
It’s a slow-motion disaster - unstoppable (sort of like Obamacare - though that fraud is moving somewhat faster).
Heads should roll.
The company I work for profitted handsomely off the band aid “fix” for this project. Seems we put in a bid and were turned down for some of the original work, So when Caltrans discovered their lowest “Chinese” bidder gave them junk they came back to us for the fix. Rumour has it the owner broke it off in their backside.
The thing is, if people are so sloppy about basic grammar and spelling, what else are they sloppy about? In general, people are sloppy about everything, or meticulous about everything.
It is important in this case, because this report has implications for the future of the new bridge. What if the bridge is headed for catastrophic failure and no one recognizes the possibility because everyone who should see it coming is sloppy and cuts corners?
Just some more infrastructure built with ‘coolie labor’.
Is “made in China” a guarantee that it’s inferior?
I will guarantee if the Obamacare system was made in China the quality would have been 1,000% better.
Why? In China poor performance and ineptitude results in removal from the job.....or worse yet.....removal from this earth.
In Obama’s world failure or poor quality is always blamed on some other factor and no one is punished.
China quality VS American quality? Used to be that the word “china” on anything meant sorry quality. Now, it’s the other way around.
I will guarantee if the Obamacare system was made in China the quality would have been 1,000% better.
I would remind you that 10X better still isn't much when you start with a turd.
The thing is, if people are so sloppy about basic grammar and spelling, what else are they sloppy about?
Exactly. That is my argument always.
Society is reaping the crops sown by our deliberately dumbed-down education systems.
In Boston's Big Dig, a tunnel panel came down and crushed a lady in a car. Apparently epoxy was used to hold them up. A friend's dad who had extensive experience in that area said that there were probably two issues--first, the strength of the epoxy was mixture-sensitive, but second (and probably more importantly) the joint had to be completely clean before the cement was applied--no residual concrete dust. Wouldn't you suspect worker sloppiness in this area? A lot of time and money was spent inspecting the remaining panels, and there were a lot of poor joints.
Me thinks this is more of a design problem....why did this design require "unprecedented" large rods.....smells like brute force engineering was at play. The Gallopin' Gertie
Yes but the back story is that those same people who are crying spent the last 25 years running any business capable of making such parts out of Kalifornia.
Spelling and grammar are more important when you are placing lives on them and getting PAID for “work”. FR, not so much.
Glad to hear that!!!!
Well, that sure answers a lot.
Another 7.0 like the Loma Prieta quake will make quick work of the destruction. Just pray you're not on the span when it ends up on the bottom of the bay.
Yes. High Tensile steel is prone to hydrogen embrfittlement. It is actually atomic hydrogeon i.e. H1 not H2 the molecule. The hydrogen gets into the crystal lattice of the steel and weakens it. It literally forces the lattice structure apart at an atomic level. Mild steel is not subject to this nor is stainless steel. However, they do not have the strength of high tensile steel. This is an engineering fiasco. It did not need to happen. It can be engineered around with different metals. Larger rods of a lower tensile steel could have given the strength needed and not be subject to embrittlement.
Unconcerned with quality and workmanship, buy Chinese.
Why should we have to ask people for clarification when, with a little effort on their part, clarity would be built into their writing? Long live spelling/grammatical (especially in technical writing) a-holes! Why can't 'writers' learn grammar and spelling? If they can't do that or can't take the care to use proper grammar, it makes one suspicious of their content.
Typos happen, which is why proofreading is important. On FR, we often get so excited that we hit "Post" before we check our writing. Many of us are guilty of that.
When a person is unclear in a mathematical, technical, engineering, or scientific text, there is no "Read what is intended."
There are many slippery slopes in life. Why not take care of those we can control?
What this suggests to me is that the people who prepared the report are unqualified and don't understand what it is going to take to fix the problem. But that's the way the Government works in California.
But when the very people who are supposed to oversee these things are the ones on the take all the way to the top, what's to be done?
It's kind of like when a states attorney general uses the state police as his personal procurer/pimp and they do it with a nod and a wink, who are you going to call?
They start with Arnold Schwarzenegger, who kicked Bechtel off the project and brought in KFM because it was an investment of Warren Buffet's. Bechetel was forced to turn over 35,000 hours of engineering work to KFM for free. The latter admitted that they could not build the bridge as designed. It went downhill from there.
Any design in an environment like that requiring sealed tubes for major structural elements is begging for catastrophe. This isn't "brute force"; it's "creeping elegance" gone wild in the hands of flaming incompetents.
How would those effect the bridge? Is it really worth all the incontinence caused when spellcheck can fox everything just fine?
I was a contractor for a major telecommunications company for a while. All the people in certain slots were college graduates, many with masters degrees. The emergency notices they would send out to their clients were just embarrassing. I’m not referring to the quick individual notices from the worker bees, but the carefully crafted notices broadcast out to masses of customers...and they’d stay wrong for weeks.
Chinese steel in Chinese warships.
Throw a rock at em and watch the crack start to grow.
....Replacement of the rods, which are embedded in the foundation, would be difficult if not impossible. My concern with the (tower) anchor rods is that theres no redundancy, Chung said. Once they break, theres nothing you can do.
Kinda like Ovaporcare, eh?
I've seen a lot of Freepers lend a hand to their less literate forum mates, and rarely have I ever seen any of them be "smug" about it.
It strikes me as odd that so many people mistake correction for insult. Most often, those who offer a correction, are doing so out of an impulse to help - not to shame.
Somewhere on the 'net there's a picture of a toppled Chinese high-rise building that had inadequate foundations.
Oh yeah, here it is.
"Lack of transparency" means no one knows how these things happen.
I am very afraid of the fate of this new bridge.
It is social Piety. People that are on this or other forums are here to get an idea across, not impress others with flawless punctuation. It’s not your place to “be helpful and correct it”. Those that do it, come off as Grammatically Pius, whether it is your intent or not.