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GDE collapses onto Barton Highway

By johnboy - 17 August 2010 128

[First filed: Aug 14, 2010 @ 15:54]

Bridge collapse

The Canberra Times brings word of a new and sorry twist in the tail of the Gungahlin Drive Extension with a major collapse of the new work over the Barton Highway:

Firefighters have freed a man trapped under a section of the Gungahlin Drive extension that collapsed this afternoon. Stage two of the extension has collapsed onto the Barton Highway while construction work was underway around 2pm.

Everyone on site at the time of collapse has been accounted for. The Emergency Services Agency said paramedics treated 15 people at the scene, and 10 would be taken to hospital in stable conditions.

More as it comes in. If you have pictures please send them in to images@the-riotact.com

UPDATE: The ESA has this to say:

3:10pm Saturday 14 August 2010 – Update two – no serious injuries 15 people being assessed on scene by intensive care paramedics with up to 10 to be transported to hospital in a stable condition.

No critical injuries at this time.

2:35pm 14 August 2010 – Update person freed One person confirmed trapped on scene has been freed by firefighters.

2:15pm Saturday 14 August 2010 – Report of construction collapse ACT Ambulance Service and ACT Fire Brigade responding to reports of a construction collapse on the Barton Highway Gungahlin.

Update to follow

FURTHER UPDATE: This grim warning on the traffic implications from the ESA:

4:10pm Saturday 14 August 2010 – Final update on partial bridge collapse ACT Ambulance Service has transported a nine patients to the Canberra Hospital in a stable condition with minor injuries following a partial bridge collapse on the Barton Highway Gungahlin.

The section of bridge that collapsed was under construction adjacent to an existing bridge.

The injuries range from limb to suspected spinal.

A total of 15 patients have been assessed on scene by intensive care paramedics.

One man was trapped for around 15 minutes until he was rescued by firefighters.

The ESA was alerted to the incident just before 2 o’clock.

The road is expected to remain closed for quite some time.

ANOTHER UPDATE: The ABC has word from roads supremo Tony Gill:

“Our initial advice is that it could take up to two weeks before we are in a position to remove the debris and get the road open for public use,” he said.

“We are getting an independent engineer’s report just to get an understanding of how the bridge collapsed and secondly we need to engage a demolition contractor to remove the debris.

“But we also have to make sure it is safe for that demolition contractor to go in and remove the debris.”

ONE MORE UPDATE FOR THE ROAD: The TAMS websites has this morning (16 August) put up a statement dated 14 August on the road closures (file data says it was created this morning):

The ACT Government wishes to advise motorists and other road users that Barton
Highway, at its intersection with Gungahlin Drive, is closed (in both directions) until further
notice.

Barton Highway (Northbound): All northbound traffic will be detoured via Gungahlin Drive, Ginninderra Drive, Baldwin Drive and William Slim Drive to reconnect with Barton Highway.

Barton Highway (Southbound): All southbound traffic will be detoured via Gungahlin Drive, Sandford Street roundabout, and Gungahlin Drive to reconnect with Barton Highway.

Gungahlin Drive (Southbound off-ramp): Right turn onto Barton Highway will be closed.

Traffic will be able to turn left from Gungahlin Drive onto Barton Highway towards the city,
however people are encouraged to detour via Mitchell.

Detour signage has been erected to alert people of the closure and to direct traffic.

The ACT Government apologises for any inconvenience caused.

For up-to-date information on road closures please call Canberra Connect on 13 22 81.

Slideshow below:

What’s Your opinion?


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128 Responses to
GDE collapses onto Barton Highway
46
Mr Evil 11:07 am
15 Aug 10
#

Cheers, Kiwiengineer.

I recall hearing that one bridge was being constructed using pre-fab section(s) built in Newcastle, but maybe it was the one across Gininderra Drive that I’m thinking of?

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47
Thepond 11:08 am
15 Aug 10
#

paperboy said :

Are we sure it’s not another Stanhope-inspired piece of art… It looks a lot like the mess on the other side of the road

It’s just a bit more expensive. cool $3.3m

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48
kiwiengineer 11:20 am
15 Aug 10
#

Actually sorry… The balanced cantilever was on Belconnen Way. I am sorry. The barton Highway one was also cast-insitu using a falsework system. I believe the first bridge also had problems because a farmer passing through the job with a truck overloaded with hay hit the height warning gantry.

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49
Rawhide Kid No 2 11:51 am
15 Aug 10
#

Makes me a bit nervous driving under the bridge construction on Belconnen Way now. Might go another way from now on.

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50
ogloooooos 11:55 am
15 Aug 10
#

has anything been published about using alternate routes or the timeline in which this debacle will be sorted out yet?…….

I hope all those injured make a speedy recovery.

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51
thy_dungeonman 11:59 am
15 Aug 10
#

“It’s not the mayor’s fault that the stadium collapsed”

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52
Arthur McKenzie 12:12 pm
15 Aug 10
#

Elfrey said :

“Just went and had a quick look. Appears the main I section bridge deck beams weren’t laterally braced against sideways movement and rotation as they should have been. And the top splice plates at midspan weren’t attached or bolted – no plates and no bolts, just bolt holes.”

I know the bloke who owns whats left of the concrete pump under the bridge, and apparently the bolts snapped. High tensile steel was probably too pricey.

Certainly possible, and/or that the bolts weren’t tightened properly. I got the impression the mid-span top flange splice plates weren’t even installed in the first place! You would expect at least a few still-attached mangled plates and bolts to be there but I saw none. (Keep in mind that the other flange splice plates are still there!)

It’s also not a good move to have public access under the bridge while it’s being built. That was one of the related outcomes of the Westgate Bridge Collapse Royal Commission.

Some sculpture! Maybe Mr Nohope will dedicate it as the GAE – Gungahlin Arboretum Extension.

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53
BenMac 12:41 pm
15 Aug 10
#

Supposidly the clean up will take 5 days, and the road blocks will continue til then. So I’m guessing aviod the area til at least the weekend.

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54
bigcohuna1 12:43 pm
15 Aug 10
#

Unfortunately was in another dimension (NSW) until late and only heard of this accident this morning. So sorry to hear that a number of workers were hurt, 1 seriously.

Form the other comments – what was traffic doing backing up? there were huge sign board each way up for ages saying the Barton Highway would be closed on both the 14th & 15th (for the bridgework) from 8-6 daily – which was a smart move anytime.

As for disruptions – we’re just going ot have to deal with it the old fashioned way like we did before the bridge to nowhere opened up (even with only 1 lane) – just leave a bit earlier and go some other way – and be patient

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55
bigcohuna1 12:47 pm
15 Aug 10
#

And congratulations to the ACT Ambulance Service, ACT Fire Brigade and Aust Federal Police for a quick response and handlingof the incident – suddenly having to manage 15 casualties and a rescue in a dangerous industrial environment probably would have put their resources and operational management to the test (handling this and their regular workload). Thoughts go to the hospital staff for their work on this as well.

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56
eq2 12:50 pm
15 Aug 10
#

Arthur McKenzie said :

Appears the main I section bridge deck beams weren’t laterally braced against sideways movement and rotation as they should have been. And the top splice plates at midspan weren’t attached or bolted – no plates and no bolts, just bolt holes.

What this means is the beams are laterally unstable and easily tip over on their side. The bottom splices are not strong enough to hold the beams together once they’ve tipped over. So the whole lot hits the deck!

What’s your review of the bridge under construction over Belconnen Way?

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57
WillowJim 12:53 pm
15 Aug 10
#

Can’t be bothered reading all the comments, but I assume someone’s blamed Stanhope, right?

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58
Arthur McKenzie 1:46 pm
15 Aug 10
#

eq2 said :

Arthur McKenzie said :

Appears the main I section bridge deck beams weren’t laterally braced against sideways movement and rotation as they should have been. And the top splice plates at midspan weren’t attached or bolted – no plates and no bolts, just bolt holes.

What this means is the beams are laterally unstable and easily tip over on their side. The bottom splices are not strong enough to hold the beams together once they’ve tipped over. So the whole lot hits the deck!

What’s your review of the bridge under construction over Belconnen Way?

That bridge is being built using a different method, explained by kiwiengineer, I think, above. It’s a much more sophisticated way of doing it, but that’s not a reason in just itself for trusting it. The sad thing in this overconfident spin-cycle state is there are way too many disasters – implosions, hangars, sagging floor slabs in office blocks, workers falling through missing covers and manholes, bush fires, car damage from the resurfarcing in Northbourne Ave, not to mention getting killed by a speed filled AFP car chase. All very dangerous and all totally manageable and all just disasters waiting to happen.

Not necessarily Mr Nohopes direct fault but a symptom of bad management. He should be setting a better pace than this regrettable rubbish instead of telling us how offended he gets.

As for Belconnen Way, I don’t know whether it’s safe or not, I haven’t looked in detail. But I avoid driving under it. Forget about a major collapse, all it takes is somebody dropping a hammer or bolt or piece of pipe accidentally on a train of cars travelling underneath. The standard of protection against this is not very good from the little bit I have seen. Stay away from it if you can while it’s being built, at least.

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59
housebound 1:48 pm
15 Aug 10
#

It’ll be interesting to see the report of al this – how much the experience in bridge-building the contractors had and whether or not they were the cheapest tender.

Could be RCH all over again – hopefully no one dies this time around.

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60
Spectra 4:10 pm
15 Aug 10
#

I recall hearing that one bridge was being constructed using pre-fab section(s) built in Newcastle, but maybe it was the one across Gininderra Drive that I’m thinking of?

That is indeed the one you’re thinking of. From memory they are using the longest such sections available – at least in this country. Interesting that they’re using at least three completely different bridge construction methods along the length of the road. (Not suggesting it implies anything negative, it’s just interesting from an engineering perspective).

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