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Collapse of Palau Bridge

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Chris Burgoyne.

The talk will be preceded by the branch AGM

In 1996 a 200m span prestressed concrete bridge joining two islands in the Palau group in the western Pacific collapsed without warning. The bridge was 19 years old and had been suffering from problems due to excessive creep, but had been checked and assessed to be safe. Additional prestressing cables had been added six weeks before the collapse by a well-known specialist company. The various parties became involved in legal proceedings which led to a settlement out-of-court, the details of which have never been published. The talk presents the results of a study using publicly-available sources and suggests that it was the original design that was at fault, not the repair. The talk will contrast the civil engineering industry with aerospace, where compulsory reporting of faults is the norm.

This talk is part of the Institution of Structural Engineers series.

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