Bridge expert and engineering professor Erin Bell comments on construction

Woman with brown hair wearing gray suit stands in front of Memorial Bridge in Portsmouth.

主要研究 civil and environmental engineering professor Erin Bell is a bridge expert and principal investigator of the 生活桥项目 on the Memorial Bridge between Portsmouth, N.H. 缅因州的基特里.

In the aftermath of the collapse of Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge in the early morning of March 26, authorities are trying to figure out how the collision of the heavily traveled structure with a container cargo ship brought it crumbling down into the Patapsco River.

主要研究 桥梁建设专家艾琳·贝尔说, chair and professor of civil and environmental engineering at 主要研究, also wonders what went wrong. She points to the structure of the bridge as a possible weakness.

“这种高度的桥梁坍塌很少见, especially with a major bridge like the Francis Scott Key Bridge that services one of the largest ports in the country,贝尔说. She notes that the bridge, built in 1977, has a continuous through truss construction. “那是指桁架, 结构:由连接的元素组成的结构或梁, spans over multiple supports — and often requires less materials that work together in an integral fashion to resist load. This interdependent structural form could have been a contributor to the collapse.”

Bell notes that vessel collision procedures were improved after the collapse of Tampa Bay’s Sunshine Skyway Bridge in 1980, 当它被一艘20吨重的货轮撞到时,通往坦帕湾的200英尺长的桥段, 造成35. She questions whether a retrofit was done on the Baltimore bridge, 是在阳光天桥之前建造的吗.

贝尔是主要研究的首席研究员 生活桥项目, a unique living laboratory on the (still standing) Memorial Bridge between New Hampshire and Maine. 配备数据传感器, the bridge has been transformed into a self-reporting “smart” bridge that captures a range of information from the health of the span to the environment around it— including such things as structural performance, 风的模式, 潮流, 水浊度和鱼类洄游模式.


斯科特·里普利 | 主要研究营销 | 斯科特 | 603-862-1855