1st Edition

Understanding Bridge Collapses

By Björn Åkesson Copyright 2008

    In a straightforward style, this book presents a detailed overview of 20 cases of famous and other highly interesting bridge collapses over the last two centuries. Every case is illustrated and described in detail and the failure analyses made are supported by well-known explanations and, in some cases, by new theories. The chronological order makes it easy to follow the gradual development in the use of different bridge types and the choice of construction material. The increase of knowledge and experience in the structural engineering discipline over the years is clearly observable, although every modern engineer will admit that both fatigue and buckling are very complex phenomena and that knowledge about them can increasingly profit from studying past bridge construction projects failures. Intended for consulting engineers (bridges, steel and metal structures) and for advanced-level and postgraduate students in structural and bridge engineering.

    1. Dee Bridge (1847)
    2. Ashtabula Bridge (1876)
    3. Tay Bridge (1879)
    4. Quebec Bridge (1907)
    5. Hasselt Bridge (1938)
    6. Sandö Bridge (1939)
    7. Tacoma Narrows Bridge (1940)
    8. Peace River Bridge (1957)
    9. Second Narrows Bridge (1958)
    10. Kings Bridge (1962)
    11. Point Pleasant Bridge (1967)
    12. Fourth Danube Bridge (1969)
    13. Britannia Bridge (1970)
    14. Cleddau Bridge (1970) 
    15. West Gate Bridge (1970)
    16. Rhine Bridge (1971)
    17. Zeulenroda Bridge (1973)
    18. Reichsbrücke (1976)
    19. Almö Bridge (1980)
    20. Sgt. Aubrey Cosens V.C. Memorial Bridge (2003)



    Björn Åkesson is a former lecturer at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden. Currently he is a consulting engineer and the author of several books focusing on the design and analysis of steel structures, especially bridges. He also published Plate Buckling in Bridges and Other Structures, a comprehensive account of local buckling in bridges (Taylor & Francis, 2007).

    ‘This is truly a magnificent book. (…) I found reading this book to be a joy, and in fact I don't recall ever having enjoyed reading a bridge engineering book more than this one. (…) it's mandatory reading for all practicing bridge engineers. (…) My only lament is that the book isn't five times longer!’Irfan A. Alvi Towson, MD USA