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University of Nevada, Reno

Bridge between San Carlos and Talca


Of two parallel bridges (Figure 1), one was severely damaged and almost collapsed en route from San Carlos to Talca. The other bridge did have some slight damage but remained in service with each of its two lanes serving traffic flow in opposite directions. The damaged bridge, which appeared to be newer construction, was made of four parallel I-girders on elastomeric bearings at each span. Large transverse accelerations were evident by pounding against shear keys. The shear keys were sheared off in some locations and the bridge girder was left partially overhanging from the bent (Figure 2). The older bridge spans were made from a double box girder. The transverse shear keys were also had shear cracks resulting from pounding, but none of these completely failed as in the newer adjacent bridge. The thickness of the shear keys was about twice as thick compared to the newer construction (Figure 3).

The most recent addition was constructed in the 1980s and showed modern installation.

Figure 1: Of two parallel bridges, one was severely damaged and almost collapsed en route from San Carlos to Talca.

Partitions cracked, ceiling tiles failed at both levels, and some anchorage pullout was observed for cable tray supports.

Figure 2: The shear keys were sheared off in some locations and the bridge girder was left partially overhanging from the bent.

The older sections of the hospital suffered a lot of nonstructural damage to masonry partitions and one masonry wall that may be load bearing.

Figure 3: The thickness of the shear keys was about twice as thick compared to the newer construction.


Report and photos submitted by Gilberto Mosqueda
Date: March 12, 2010