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How not to install a cable stay bridge.

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Learning, Mar 15, 2018.

  1. Learning

    Learning Ethelred the Ill-Named

  2. RovingMike

    RovingMike Crucifixion's a doddle...

    So much for the new method of construction. Up in six hours, down in rather less seconds. Need a William McGonagall to pen something on it.
  3. Fishboy

    Fishboy Well-Known Member

    This is a terrible tragedy and I feel for the poor buggers who were just sat waiting at the traffic lights when the bridge collapsed onto them.

    I must admit, though, that my main fascination with this story has been the size of American firemens' helmets - some of those pieces of headgear could give The Pope hat envy!

    Cheers, Jeff
  4. MJB

    MJB Well-Known Member


    Just when you think you know someone:D
    dream_police and LesleySM like this.
  5. LesleySM

    LesleySM Well-Known Member

    I am giggling now

    Many years ago a friend of ours was in an amateur dramatic company. They did Ionescu's "The Bald Headed Prima Donna" and he got the role of the chief fireman.

    He persuaded us to go along so there's Dave and me sitting there and on walks Tel in a ridiculous outfit and in a very plummy voice announces "I have an enormous helmet"

    Dave and me immediately collapsed into a serious fit of the giggles and everyone else just stared at us until someone pointed out "It is meant to be a comedy after all"
  6. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    The wondrous Florida International University footbridge
    Of engineering a triumph to behold
    Its slender length and sturdy build
    A story to be told
    Then on a tragic springtime day
    Alas the footings failed
    Down came the bridge and lives were lost
    But were the builders jailed?
  7. RovingMike

    RovingMike Crucifixion's a doddle...

    Rubbish. It scans and rhymes.
  8. Fishboy

    Fishboy Well-Known Member

    Many years ago, the village's amateur operatic and dramatic society put out a desperate call for men! They were trying to put on a performance of Oliver and their cast was decidedly female-orientated. The local Viking re-enactment group decided to help them, and thus was born a marriage made in heaven.

    The starting pistol fiasco, where Bill Sykes got shot at and the starting pistol intended to provide the sound effect failed to go off, leaving him to die to a rather snazzy roll on the drums, followed by the next night when anybody with a starting pistol was asked to bring it along (different times!) and Bill ended up falling to what sounded like machine gun fire!

    The main thing for me was my ex-brother in law, Paul. A shade over five feet tall and a keen folk singer of the finger-in-the-ear, sing it through you nose variety.

    His song was 'Who Will Buy?' - and his costume was a stovepipe top hat, a good two and a half feet tall, and an ankle length pigskin coat borrowed from Tony Walmsley.

    A brief interlude to describe Tony Walmsley - a local stonemason. Masses of long curly hair and a beard. Habitually wore his hand-made pigskin ankle-length coat with a tricorn hat and a brace of flintlock pistols shoved in his belt (again, different times!). Six foot five tall...

    Back to the show.

    The stage emptied and this vision appeared. Paul, at five feet one, wearing a coat made for somebody six feet five, with a two and a half foot tall hat. The coat was flared out around him but touched the ground all around. His feet were invisible. This apparition glided onto the stage with no visible means of motivation and slowly turned to face the audience. The coat stayed pointing stage left, and then gradually rotated to catch up with him.

    He started to sing 'Who Will Buy' in his nasal, folk singerly tones.."Whow will Buyayyy" and a voice from the back of the audience exclaimed "Fu**kin' hell, it's a Dalek!"

    The reaction to this was astounding. The entire audience was in hysterics, most of the band were unable to play their instruments for laughing, with the exception of the drummer and a lady paying a clarinet with more enthusiasm than skill. Paul, largely oblivious to the hilarity he was causing, ploughed-on with the song to his drum and clarinet accompaniment. The remainder of the cast were supposed to join in with the song and perform some kind of dance routine, but this went by the wayside as people staggered into each other, unable to see through their tears of laughter and the young lad playing Oliver had to be helped off the stage, by the looks of things for a quick change of trousers!

    Ah, them were the days. The local Viking group, incidentally, were never invited back to help out.

    Cheers, Jeff
  9. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    Sowwy. :(
  10. Malcolm_Stewart

    Malcolm_Stewart Well-Known Member

    On Ch 5 TV this morning - I heard that the same company had an earlier bridge fall down... Sorry, no references, and no other info.
  11. DaveS

    DaveS Well-Known Member

    One of our "A" level Theatre Studies groups did that many years ago, and I lit it. Just reading the script had me in fits of laughter. That was a very strong group, all got above 95% for the performance, one got 100%. I think the moderator was only allowed to give one 100%, else there was another girl who went on to drama college, and had agents queuing up to sign her after her finals performance.
    she should have got 100% too.
  12. dream_police

    dream_police Well-Known Member

    Now I was being good. As soon as Jeff posted his comment I had started to reply about my big bobbies helmet but decided not to. Looks like I could have as there are people on here with smutty minds.
    ascu75 likes this.
  13. Fishboy

    Fishboy Well-Known Member

    Are you related to the chap who posted the picture of his leather horsey bondage costume in another thread?

    Cheers, Jeff
    MJB likes this.
  14. dream_police

    dream_police Well-Known Member

    I thought that was just dressing up stuff. No wonder I get strange looks when I trot off to the shops in it.
    steveandthedogs likes this.
  15. Learning

    Learning Ethelred the Ill-Named

    This is a tragedy for the families caught up in it. It is also the result of stupidity and incompetance. The unfinished bridge did not have the cable stays installed; it was behaving like a simple truss (allbeit of strange angles) when it fell. I am not saying that a first year undergraduate of engineering or physics or applied maths could design it but they would be able to analyse its stability using an approximation of a pin jointed structure and knowledge of the masses of the elements involved and simple rules about the tensile strength of the elements and thrust stability (against buckling) of elements. The maths behind this has been known since the 19th century.You end up with two simoultaneous equations for each node. The coefficients of those equations are shared by adjoining nodes. It used to take weeks of error prone computation to solve those equations; now you use common library modules to solve them in seconds.
    I look forward to see a final report about this failure.
    I would expect that the design of the complete structure to be judg esd safe and to have elements of redundancy which would allow replacement for maintenance. The blame is likely to come down to the order in which tasks were done. Also why did the engineer in charge of construction allow this 'truss' to be unsupported near the middle until the cable stays were installed and tensioned? In use the whole of the deck would be made up of struts. At this stage of the build it is made up of ties. The upper flange of the bridge in use would be pretty neutral but without cable stays is under strong compression. Alarm bells should have been ringing. You don't need to be a graduate and expert chartered structural engineer to see this; it is simple statics.
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2018
  16. AndyTake2

    AndyTake2 Well-Known Member

    I would have thought one of the students could have worked out that if something is designed to be held by cables, it.......err....needs bloody cables.
    All they did, (as explained above in better detail) is stick a lump of material, which could vaguely be described as a truss, across the damn road.

    I think some heads will rightly roll ver this one.
  17. ascu75

    ascu75 Well-Known Member

  18. Footloose

    Footloose Well-Known Member

    Instead of Nige showing us his helmet, maybe he could regale us by posting a video of him singing this?
  19. Learning

    Learning Ethelred the Ill-Named

  20. Footloose

    Footloose Well-Known Member

    Update on bridge; BREAKING: Florida Department of Transportation says engineer from Figg team left a voicemail on Tuesday warning of cracking in FIU bridge: “obviously the cracking is not good and something’s going to have to be, ya know, done to repair that.”

    Apparently, this bridge design used Tension Rods rather than Cables. There's a suggestion doing the rounds that one or more of these had snapped, (maybe whilst the bridge was being moved into position?) The thing is, with cables, they are multi-stranded, so each strand would have failed over a longer period of time as the load on the remaining ones increased, probably making quite a bit of noise in the process. On the other hand, a Tension Rod it would stretch and then just snap.

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