BRIDGE COLLAPSE IN GHANA

The pictures illustrate a reinforced concrete bridge on the Accra to Cape Coast road approximately 1km to the east of Makessim. The bridge was constructed in the late 1930's and failed immediately as a result of inadequate reinforcement. The bridge comprises five spans of 10m. The reinforced concrete deck was carried by a series of longitudinal reinforced concrete beams spanning between the piers. The photographs show that the reinforcement is far too light for this particularly heavy bridge and for the traffic. Classical bending failure has developed. Because the deck is continuous over the piers and the longitudinal beams are cast monolithically with the piers, hogging hinges have formed at the supports and sagging hinges have formed at mid-span.