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Example text

In its final form, Westgate Bridge was to be cable-stayed, with main spans of 112, 144, 336, 144 and 112 m. There were, in addition, extensive approaches with the main spans extending from Piers 10 to 15, and the cables from Piers 11 to 14. These main spans were of welded steel box-girder construction. During erection of the first span, from Piers 10 to 11, this span collapsed, bringing down Pier 11 with it. The final cross-section of the bridge was a three-cell box. The initial error was to divide the cross-section down the centreline for erection.

The European Standard ENV 10020:1988 specifies the following minimum values for ‘base steels’: yield stress ultimate stress elongation to failure 360 MPa 600 MPa 26%. There can be considerable variations from this idealised behaviour. The material may be elastic to an upper yield stress that exceeds sy, but with the stress dropping to sy immediately yield has occurred. On the other hand, first yield in practical members may occur at a lower stress, due either to a change in the material properties, the presence of residual stresses, or some other factor.

6 m spans, and some others (Shepherd and Frost 1995:35 give somewhat different dimensions; see also Koerte 1992:30). These central spans were through trusses, at a clear height of the order of 25 m. The bridge was completed by 26 September 1878 and officially opened on 31 May 1879. Seven months later, on 28 December 1879, it collapsed. m. m. and it was dark. Wind forces on the train were so large that witnesses reported seeing a continuous stream of sparks caused by friction between the flanges of the wheels and the rails.

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