Collapse of a Footbridge over a State Highway in North Carolina

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TERMS OF REFERENCE
Mr L Neeson of the North Carolina Department of Transport requested this report. The report was needed to provide a progress update and likely outcomes on the investigation into an accident that took place on a bridge over Route 29 highway on 20th May 2000. Although privately owned, the bridge crosses a state highway and it is thus the responsibility of the North Carolina Department of Transport to ensure that a proper investigation into the accident is carried out. Mr. Neeson’s instructions were to:

describe the incident itself and the possible causes
draw comparisons with any other bridge built at a similar time •draw conclusions regarding: the reasons for the failure of the bridge, the various parties that may be responsible and whether a case should be brought against all or some of the parties •make recommendations as to what should be done to prevent similar incidents in the future

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
This report is to provide the North Carolina Department of Transport with an update on the investigation into the recent collapse of a footbridge. The report also determines which of the parties involved was at fault. Background to the investigation

On the 28th May 2000, a footbridge owned by Lowe’s Motor Speedway collapsed over a state highway in North Carolina. The North Carolina Department of Transport is responsible for ensuring that a thorough investigation is carried out to ascertain the causes of the accident. Method of investigation

Information was gathered in the form articles describing the accident as well as the construction of the bridge. Several members from the involved organisations were also interviewed. Results of the investigation

Construction of the bridge was based on a ‘double T’ design. This particular design has not experienced failures in the past and a similar neighbouring bridge is still standing. It was found that the collapse of the bridge was not due to weaknesses of the design but due to...
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