Bridge Collapse

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Dan Clarkston

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All single lanes are measured to the size of two warhorses. The Romans built the first roads and that's the measure for the chariot horses. And we still do that today. Go figure.


Pretty sure we now have many roads / bridges much wider than the size of two warhorses

Today we go by the width of big trucks for lane widths since big trucks have to be able to travel in one lane.
 

Adrift

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That's what the liberals are doing is setting up more events such as this.

If Trump wins the election, they'll most likely have a liberal insurrection that will have to be put down by armed citizens
Works for me.
 

Jay Ross

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I think the cargo ship hitting it straight on had something to do with it.

But that consideration should have been built into the final design of the bridge before it was built so that the bridge piers had protection from that possibility happening.

Now having said that, the engineering considerations of the size of cargo ships has increased from the time of the bridges' construction to what they are today, in that cargo ships are many time larger than they were when the design was finalised, but since it appears that there was no pier protection built, the argument used to save money by not constructing the required pier protection "buffers" won the day back then, but in today's circumstances, that decision has and will prove costly.

From a safety consideration a bridge/bridges between the big blue sea and the container terminal is/are a no-no and a safer consideration today would be to build tunnels to replace the existing bridge(s) that cross over the cargo shipping lanes if the container terminals are to stay where they are or move the container terminal(s) to a more suitable location and build the necessary transport infrastructure around the new terminal location(s).

In the city near where I live the shipping docks were progressively moved downstream from the colonial day docks to be now located much closer to the ocean such that the large ships do not have to travel miles inland to unload and load their cargo. Even so, the cargo vessels are still over 100 kms from the big blue ocean, but there are no bridges that impede that path for the big ships as they transit through the bay behind two very large sandy islands that define the eastern side of the bay.

Wrangler, yes you are right, the cargo ship hitting one of two possible bridge piers, that would have had the same outcome, was the straw that broke the camel's/bridge's back so to speak, but the actual cause for this particular accident that brought down the bridge, happened many years ago in our past, when poor political and financial decisions were made to keep the cargo loading and unloading facilities in the shallow waters in and around Baltimore. So often the root cause of all accidents is hidden way back in the past.
 

Wrangler

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But that consideration should have been built into the final design of the bridge before it was built so that the bridge piers had protection from that possibility happening.
Should is theory. In the real world, the bridge collapsed because a fully loaded cargo ship hit it straight on.
 
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Jay Ross

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Should is theory. In the real world, the bridge collapsed because a fully loaded cargo ship hit it straight on.

But the root cause for the accident happened many years ago and was avoidable if the right decisions had been made way back then. The cargo ship hitting the bridge pier was a foreseeable possibility that was possible to avoid if adequate pier protection had been added to protect the bridge piers.

It also seems likely that the poor maintenance of the cargo vessel was also a primary cause in this accident. If the power plant of the vessel had not failed, then this accident would not have played out this time as the vessel prepared to transit under the bridge but the potential for this particular scenario still play out just like it did when the bridge collapsed when similar circumstances fall into place.

It is just like Christians who fall into recognisable sins like adulatory, the cause for these sins manifesting in the life of the Christian, actually happen prior to the "sins" becoming visible when the "Christian" turned away from God. The thing is we ask for forgiveness for our adulatory but never really ask for forgiveness for turning away from God that was the for runner to the adulatory happening.

Get my drift.
 

ScottA

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But the root cause for the accident happened many years ago and was avoidable if the right decisions had been made way back then. The cargo ship hitting the bridge pier was a foreseeable possibility that was possible to avoid if adequate pier protection had been added to protect the bridge piers.

It also seems likely that the poor maintenance of the cargo vessel was also a primary cause in this accident. If the power plant of the vessel had not failed, then this accident would not have played out this time as the vessel prepared to transit under the bridge but the potential for this particular scenario still play out just like it did when the bridge collapsed when similar circumstances fall into place.

It is just like Christians who fall into recognisable sins like adulatory, the cause for these sins manifesting in the life of the Christian, actually happen prior to the "sins" becoming visible when the "Christian" turned away from God. The thing is we ask for forgiveness for our adulatory but never really ask for forgiveness for turning away from God that was the for runner to the adulatory happening.

Get my drift.

You make a good point. But that is not the "root cause", it just made it simpler to accomplish. It means engineers were likely involved.
 

Jay Ross

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You make a good point. But that is not the "root cause", it just made it simpler to accomplish. It means engineers were likely involved.

But Engineers are not the ones who make the final decision on how much engineering needed to be done to build the bridge. Engineers can influence how much engineering is required but they did not have the final casting vote on how much engineering would be done. That decision was both a political and financial decision which reigned in how much engineering was needed to build the bridge, but not how much engineering was needed to keep the bridge structure safe from possible impacts that impaired the safety of the bridge structure.

As an engineer, I know that the engineering needed is not controlled by engineers themselves but rather by others further up the food train. These people up the food train are the ones who make the final decision to build within their imposed constraints.
 

ScottA

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But Engineers are not the ones who make the final decision on how much engineering needed to be done to build the bridge. Engineers can influence how much engineering is required but they did not have the final casting vote on how much engineering would be done. That decision was both a political and financial decision which reigned in how much engineering was needed to build the bridge, but not how much engineering was needed to keep the bridge structure safe from possible impacts that impaired the safety of the bridge structure.

As an engineer, I know that the engineering needed is not controlled by engineers themselves but rather by others further up the food train. These people up the food train are the ones who make the final decision to build within their imposed constraints.

That's all very interesting--and I am sure you have stated it correctly. But I was not referring to engineers being involved in the bridge being built, but rather in it's recent destruction.
 

Jay Ross

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That's all very interesting--and I am sure you have stated it correctly. But I was not referring to engineers being involved in the bridge being built, but rather in it's recent destruction.

The engineers who built the bridge and the cargo vessel, have long gone from the scene. Both of these engineering teams did the best that they could do within the constraints that were imposed upon them by those up the food train.

As for the "engineers" who might have been involved in the events of the bridge collapse, I think you will find that the people involved in the event probably came from the lower ranks of the trades people who work on the cargo ships and bridge maintenance. I believe that the financial control type people have the biggest say in how a bridge and cargo vessel is maintained in good working order by their tight-fisted hold on when and how much maintenance is done to maintain the functionality of the vessel and the bridge.

But then I think that you are just another one of the trolls that thrive in forums like this one.
 

Jay Ross

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No. You are confusing effect with cause.

CAUSE: Cargo ship hit bridge.

EFFECT: Catastrophic collapse that possibly could have been mitigated.

When doing an analysis of the cause of the outcome, we need to go back to the start of the cause of the outcome from the accident.

If the Bridge pier had had a buffer around it to stop ships from coming into contact with any part of the bridge, then the bridge would not have collapsed.

If the cargo vessel's maintenance had been up to scratch, then the engines would not have failed which resulted in the wind being able to drive the vessel into the bridge pier before the momentum oof the vessel could be dissipated.

Yes, the cause of the bridge collapse was the cargo ship hitting the bridge pier, but the real cause of the collapse of the bridge was that no measures were taken during the life of the bridge to stop cargo vessels from actually hitting the bridge structure so that the bridge would not collapse.

The next question that needs to be asked is who was responsible for not putting the buffers around the bridge piers? Was it the design engineers of the bridge, or were their hands tied by the financial constraints imposed on the building of the bridge or was the decision to not install the pier buffers the real cause for the accident. If the pier buffers had been in place then the bridge collapse would not have happened.

In other words, the bridge structure spanning the sound was adequate for the bridge structure if the Pier buffers to stop ships from striking the piers were in place. If after the start of the construction of the bridge, the pier buffers were not put in place to save money on the building of the bridge, then that decision was short sighted on the part of the people who made that decision and was the real cause for the bridge's collapse.

In other words the bridge structure without the pier buffers then became a disaster waiting to happen.

We can learn from this event. King David, when challenged by Nathan the Prophet could not remember what the real cause was of his adulatory was, some eight or so years after his adulatory with Bathsheba. Nathan told him that Satan had influenced him when he had turned away from God and began to act God like in telling people to come or go at his whim like God does.

But when he realised what his sin was, he took responsibility for it. So often when we turn away from God, we only deal with the sins that arise from turning away from God and never really deal with the primary sin that caused all of the other sins that we commit. We repent of our stealing, our adulatory, our killing etc. and ask God to forgive us of those sins without repenting of turning away from God. The primary sin of turning away from God has no other victims other than us, and our pride stops us from humbling ourselves and repenting of turning away from God and acting God like.

If we do not put buffers around us, it is very easy for us to act God like until the other sins start to add up against us and we cannot remember having turned away from God and so we have difficulty in accepting that sin.

If we look superficially at the Baltimore Bridge collapse, then we will not look deeper into the real cause of what went really wrong in the collapsing of the bridge.
 

Jay Ross

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"Cause of the outcome" is just a way to combine cause and effect. You go on keep thinking the bridge collapse was independent of the cargo ship hitting it.

You are missing the point that I am making.

If the pier protection buffers had been in place from the beginning of the use of this bridge, then the ship would have been diverted away from the bridge pier and would not have hit the pier to cause the bridge to collapse. The issue was not the cargo vessel hitting the pier, the vessel hit the pier because there was no protection for the bridge pier and the bridge would not have collapsed.

The bridge was necessary for hazardous materials to cross over Chesapeake Bay as hazardous material cannot be transported through the tunnels that pass under the bay.

The construction companies who quoted on the construction were much more expensive that the engineering cost estimates and as such cost cutting was employed to enable the bridge to be built with the intention of later building the bridge's approaches etc to comply with the original design.

A short history of the bridge.

In the 1960s, the Maryland State Roads Commission concluded a need for a second harbor crossing after the earlier Baltimore Harbor Thruway and Tunnel opened in 1957. They began planning another single-tube tunnel under the Patapsco River, further to the southeast, downstream from the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel. The proposed site was between Hawkins Point and Sollers Point in the outer harbor. Plans also were under way for a drawbridge to the south over Curtis Creek, replacing an earlier 1931 drawbridge carrying Pennington Avenue over the creek, to connect Hawkins Point to Sollers Point. Extra capacity was provided by what is now known as the Fort McHenry Tunnel, a four-tube facility running under and curving around historic Fort McHenry, that opened in 1985.

The project was financed by a $220 million bond issue (equivalent to $1.9 billion in 2023) alongside the twinning of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge in October 1968. Bids for constructing the proposed Outer Harbor Tunnel were opened in July 1970, but price proposals were substantially higher than the engineering estimates. Officials drafted alternative plans, including a four-lane bridge, which the General Assembly approved in April 1971.

A bridge would provide a route across the Baltimore Harbor for vehicles transporting hazardous materials, which are prohibited from both the Baltimore Harbor and Fort McHenry tunnels. The United States Coast Guard issued its bridge permit in June 1972, replacing an earlier approval of the tunnel from the Army Corps of Engineers. Construction of the Outer Harbor Bridge began in 1972, several years behind schedule and $33 million over budget.

Baltimore engineering firm J. E. Greiner Company was selected as the primary design consultant, with only the side approaches being handled by New York City's Singstad, Kehart, November & Hurka in joint venture with Baltimore Transportation Associates, Inc. Construction was performed by the John F. Beasley Construction Company with material fabricated by the Pittsburgh-Des Moines Steel Co.
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Operation

The Key Bridge opened to traffic on March 23, 1977. Including its connecting approaches, the bridge project was 1.6 miles (2.57 km) in length with 8.7 miles (14.00 km) of approach road. In 1978, the bridge received an Award of Merit from the American Institute of Steel Construction in the Long Span category. A few months after the 1980 Sunshine Skyway Bridge collapse, a cargo ship collided with the Key Bridge, but the bridge was relatively undamaged.

The bridge opened with four lanes, but its approaches were two lanes to reduce costs. The south approach was widened in 1983. A project for the north approach was completed in 1999 after several years of delays.

Link: - Francis Scott Key Bridge (Baltimore) - Wikipedia

The March 26 2024 collision of a vessel with the bridge was the second such occurrence of a collision with the bridge. The collision of a vessel with the bridge in 1980 was a relatively minor incidence but the incident in 1980 did not trigger a response from the appropriate authorities to construct bridge pier safety buffers to stop a second possible collision. The second incident was catastrophic and was preventable.

I rest my case.
 

Jay Ross

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And you mine.

No, that is not true. What I have been consistently stating is that even though the vessel ran into one of the Bridge piers, the accident actually happened because nothing was done since the 1980s to prevent another vessel from running into one of the bridge's piers after the first vessel hit the bridge and only cause minor damage in 1980.

Someone or entity has to take responsibility for sitting on their hands, so to speak, by not being proactive to stop the reoccurrence of the 1980 incident which result in more dire consequences.

The consequences of the poor decisions not to protect the bridge's piers, is that every USA citizen has an additional cost of living increase because of poor decisions made over the years with the construction of this bridge.
 

Wrangler

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What I have been consistently stating is that even though the vessel ran into one of the Bridge piers, the accident actually happened because nothing was done since the 1980s
And this is 100% wrong, my friend. LOL. You are confusing OCCURENCE with SEVERITY.

The event OCCURED because the cargo ship hit the bridge. Full Stop.

Not sure why you even want to speculate in the face of an ongoing investigation that could take years on what could have been doine to mitigate the SEVERITY of the impact. Seems to me you have an agenda to place responsibility on those other than who piloted the boat. To me, this is analaous to blaming the rape victim.
 

ScottA

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The engineers who built the bridge and the cargo vessel, have long gone from the scene. Both of these engineering teams did the best that they could do within the constraints that were imposed upon them by those up the food train.

As for the "engineers" who might have been involved in the events of the bridge collapse, I think you will find that the people involved in the event probably came from the lower ranks of the trades people who work on the cargo ships and bridge maintenance. I believe that the financial control type people have the biggest say in how a bridge and cargo vessel is maintained in good working order by their tight-fisted hold on when and how much maintenance is done to maintain the functionality of the vessel and the bridge.

But then I think that you are just another one of the trolls that thrive in forums like this one.

Besides your criticism, what you have described is an act of coincidence or the predictable shortcomings of men.

Which if the world were actually in the hands of men, might have merit. Only it's not.

Which begs the question, as to why you have considered God last?
 
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