Why Did the Silver Bridge Collapse?

The fracture was caused by the development of a critical-size flaw over the 40-year life of the structure as the result of the joint action of stress corrosion and corrosion fatigue.”

Why Did the Silver Bridge Collapse?

The collapse of the Silver Bridge in December 1967, which linked Point Pleasant, West Virginia, and Gallipolis, Ohio, remains one of the most tragic and mysterious bridge collapses in U.S. history. The bridge was only 13 years old when it suddenly and unexpectedly collapsed during a rush hour evening commute, killing 46 people and causing injury to dozens more. The cause of the disaster was eventually determined to be a failure in one of the suspension links, but the question of why it happened remains a mystery to this day.

The Silver Bridge was built in 1954 as part of a plan to provide a modern, efficient,, safe link over the Ohio River between Point Pleasant, West Virginia, and Gallipolis, Ohio. The bridge was a steel-eye suspension bridge, with a main span of 1,750 feet and a total length of 2,305 feet. It was designed and constructed by the M.L. Dixon Company with the assistance of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

At the time of its construction, the Silver Bridge was one of the most modern bridges of its kind in the country. It was designed with a fail-safe system of suspension links so that if one link failed, the bridge would still be

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