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Author Topic: Mothman  (Read 2512 times)
Christian Kielbasa
Superhero Member
Posts: 1197

« Reply #75 on: June 06, 2009, 12:23:46 am »

Another unique design technique used on the Silver Bridge was the 'Rocker' towers. The innovative towers, which had a height of 130 feet, 10 1/4 inches, allowed the bridge to move due to shifting loads and changes in the chain lengths due to temperature variations. This was done by placing a curved fitting next to a flat one at the bottom of the piers. The rocker was then fitted with dowel rods to keep the structure from shifting horizontally. With this type of connection, the piers were not fixed to the bases.(7)

Upon completion of construction, the bridge was opened as a toll facility and operated by the West Virginia-Ohio Bridge Corporation. On December 26,1941, the state of West Virginia bought the structure from the bridge company for $1,040,000. The purchase price included a $70,000 contract for bridge repairs and engineering services.(Cool

On December 3l, 1951 the structure became a toll free facility. The bridge underwent a thorough inspection just prior to the transition from toll to non-toll facility. On December 21, 1951, Bridge Engineer L. L. Jemison, suggested the following to H. K. Griffith, West Virginia State Maintenance Engineer: 1. Repairing the bridge seat of the upstream side of the Ohio Abutment. 2. Cutting Ventilator openings in all of the four anchor chambers and making frames for same. 3. Encasing the anchor bars inside of the anchor chambers with concrete. 4. Restoring the disintegrated concrete of the piers, anchorages and retaining walls. 5. Waterproofing the roadway of the anchorages and the approaches and surfacing same with asphaltic concrete. 6. Cleaning and painting steel work where necessary. 7. Revising the Ohio approach to provide better returns. 8. Extending the sidewalk along the Ohio approach. 9. Removing the Toll House. 10.Revising the lighting control system. 11.Miscellaneous steelwork: Repair Railing, Clean out holes at bottom of tower verticals, Furnishing and installing gutters under expansion devices, Making and installing bird screens, 12. Restoring concrete around anchor bars removed for inspection.(9)

Upon receiving Mr. Jemison's letter of intent for the proposed bridge corrections, the necessary improvements were made. In addition to the 1951 inspection and corrections, the bridge was inspected periodically. These frequent inspections occurred on July 28, 1955, November 15,1961, and April 8 and 9, 1965. Suggestions were made to the WV Bridge engineers for improvements, but not every detail was considered because of a lack of funding. Although some corrections were not made, each inspection did say that the bridge was structurally safe. Even with the number of inspections given to the structure, the reason for its collapse could not have been foreseen and/or corrected. The technology of the day could not foresee the tragedy that awaited the Silver Bridge.(10)

For thirty-nine years the Silver Bridge stood, allowing passage across the Ohio River. With the previous inspections, no one conceived that the structure might fall and collapse into the riverbed. On that fateful December 15, 1967 evening, tragedy struck. Within seconds, the Silver Bridge had collapsed killing and injuring many individuals.
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