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Cochrane-Africatown USA Bridge
Mobile, Alabama

Location: N 30-44-02.3  W 88-02-52.3

The Cochrane-Africatown USA Bridge in Figure 1 is a cable stayed bridge that carries US-90 traffic on Bay Bridge Road across the Mobile River north of downtown Mobile. The bridge was hit by a 13,000 oil platform that broke loose 60 miles down the Mobile Bay shown in Figure 2.  The oil platform has been relocated to a dock about one-half mile south of the bridge.

Damage to the bridge is being assessed but it is operational. Traffic on the bridge was restricted to one lane in each direction and weight limitations were posted for vehicles. Figures 3 and 4 show the visible damage to the bridge, consisting of spalled concrete on the side barriers and deformation of the railing.  It is not clear how the bridge was impacted to damage the top of the barrier only and not the deck.  Note the Taylor damping devices attached to the cables and deck to suppress vibrations.

view of bridge

Figure 1: The Cochrane-Africatown USA Bridge is a cable stayed bridge that carries traffic across the Mobile river

Photo: J. O'Connor (for MCEER)

view of rig

Figure 2: The Cochrane-Africatown USA Bridge was hit by an oil platform that broke loose from a point south of Mobile bay

Photo: J. O'Connor (for MCEER)

damage close up showing displaced metal

Figure 3: Damage to concrete parapet, metal railing and cable stays visible from above on the Cochrane-Africatown USA Bridge

Photo: J. O'Connor (for MCEER)

close up of damaged concrete and steel

Figure 4: Visible damage to the Concrane Africatown Bridge

Photo: J. O'Connor (for MCEER)

 

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