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I-35 Bridge Collapse

In 2007, the I35W freeway bridge near downtown Minneapolis collapsed, killing 13 motorists. At the time, a concrete deck contractor was using several lanes of the freeway to stage materials and equipment for a deck resurfacing project on the 1,900-foot-long bridge.

Within hours, RRJ was on the site to investigate the cause, including whether the contractor’s resurfacing operations played any role in the collapse. Working independently, RRJ and The National Transportation Safety Board both determined the probable cause of the collapse to be a gross inadequacy in the original bridge design that had escaped discovery for over 40 years.  RRJ also determined that the weight of the staged construction loads on the bridge did not overload the bridge and assisted the contractor in presenting these findings.

How RRJ helped

  • Conduct comprehensive investigation
  • Conduct structural analysis computational modeling
  • Gather physical evidence on site
  • Present findings to public and National Transportation Safety Board

Project Details

Location Minneapolis, Minnesota
Client Fabyanske, Westra, Hart & Thomson
Team Otto "Chuck" Guedelhoefer, Robert Kritzler, Brian Lammert, Cole Graveen
Markets Forensics & Litigation Support, Transportation
Services Failure Analysis, Field & Laboratory Testing, Investigation

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