The Structural Engineer > Archive > Volume 84 (2006) > Issues > Issue 11 > Why did Palau Bridge collapse?
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Why did Palau Bridge collapse?

The collapse of the Palau Bridge in 1996 received considerable attention at the time, but there has been very little reported in the literature about the investigation of the collapse mechanism, partly because of a legal agreement between the parties involved. This paper has been prepared from publicly available sources to ensure that the wider structural engineering community learns something from the failure. Since the collapse occurred soon after a repair to the bridge, it has been widely assumed that the repair was the cause of the failure, but it is shown that this is very unlikely. Instead it is concluded that lack of robustness in the original design meant that the structure had always been vulnerable to accidental damage, which eventually occurred as part of the resurfacing works. Chris Burgoyne, MA, MSc, PhD, CEng, FIStructE, MICE University of Cambridge Richard Scantlebury, BA, MEng Benaim (UK) Ltd

Author(s): Burgoyne, Chris;Scantlebury, Richard

Keywords: koror-babeldaob bridge, palau;road bridges;failures;collapse;causes;repairing;prestressed concrete;cantilevers;creep