What Really Happened at the Hernando de Soto Bridge?

  • Joylandi Oy oldin

    Practical Engineering

    In May of 2021, inspectors on the I-40 Mississippi River Bridge near Memphis, Tennessee discovered a major crack in a structural member. They immediately contacted emergency managers to shut down this key crossing to vehicle traffic above and maritime traffic below. This video provides a summary of the event, including a discussion on arch bridges, fatigue in steel members, and national bridge inspection standards.

    Errata:
    (1) 8:38 "at minimum, an arm's length away" should be "at maximum, an arm's length away"
    (2) 1:14 New Madrid is usually pronounced MA-drid, not ma-DRID.
    (3) 4:55 ”It’s hard to understate the severity” should be “overstate”

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Practical Engineering
Practical Engineering

🚧New studio - who dis? Sorry about the audio quality and stark white wall. It’s a concrete box that is also a work in progress. 👷 My coverage of other engineering events: https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLTZM4MrZKfW_kLNg2HZxzCBEF-2AuR_vP

Oy oldin
Phatback Beat
Phatback Beat

I like the basic background. I’m here for knowledge, not to view marble and chrome.

11 kun oldin
Carl Williams
Carl Williams

You have nothing to apologize for PE! This is one of the most clear, concise videos I've seen on YouTube! All the ridiculous criticism that's going on in comments?... Well, it's the internet! There are no qualifications for admission.

19 kun oldin
Eddie Vargas
Eddie Vargas

Rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrf

21 kun oldin
Tony Wilson
Tony Wilson

So fantastic for someone to do an engineering vid and simply lay out the facts as they are known and not delve into conjecture which I see way too much. I did aerospace but have worked in control systems, automation and robotics for 30+ years and the amount of really poor engineering information that is published is staggering. Couple of finer points on this one. The fractured member is not exactly like a string. Its more like a main thread in a string. Its critical nature is that it now offers zero strength which means all the other components now have higher loads to handle. When you lose a main member in ANY complex structure its more like the first domino in a cascade rather than the it breaks and its instant catastrophe. If you go and watch episodes of Aircraft Investigation (I have a pilots license) it often shows that in complex failures there is an "initiating event." Usually there are failures leading up to the catastrophe but then there is "the straw that broke the camels back." As an aerospace engineer with a background in control systems things like Boeing Max-8 where a disaster in progress long before those 2 aircraft crashed. There were vulnerabilities in that system and all it took was 1 of those key failures and "bang." This fracture is a lot like that. Its such a dramatic failure that it will eventually cause the bridge to collapse, much like the Genoa Bridge eventually collapsed after poor maintenance. -> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genoa_bridge_collapse *This is just a case where they found it before the collapse.* Another point and I only know this because when I was in post grad one of the professors I dealt with was a fracture mechanic specialist. This came from a friend of mine who had me ask about repeated failures that the companies he was working for was experiencing. A particular machine they had kept breaking it mounts from vibration. It turned out to be bad welding (see below) Couple of points. 1: Metals (and most substances) never fail from ductile deformation, they fail from brittle deformation. The professors favorite example was Blu-Tack. If you stretch it it just stretches' and stretches' and thins and then if you pull fast enough it snaps. When it snaps its a brittle failure. WHAT HAPPENS is that almost all things start with spring deformation (as in it will return once the load is removed) then become ductile and eventually fail. Its obvious once its pointed out and easily seen in metals (even ductile ones). *The ductile deformation eventually work hardens the material which then starts fracturing.* 2: Once you start fracturing most substance lose 99% of there actual strength - as in the ability to kept handling a load. 3: When you weld and the welding involves depositing material like MIG & Arc Welding the bead that is deposited leaves a perfect crack at the end of the weld. Its actually the only way to reliably manufacture a perfect crack that can be lab tested. That's different to all the other UN-intended ways crack form. Its why all welders are taught to grind away the end of welds. Thus was what was breaking the mounts on the machine my friend asked about. They were not grinding away the weld ends. On top[ of all that fatigue is one of the least understood subjects. Its actually incredibly hard to do lab work on because how do you test for what might happen over decades???? When I was doing my degree there was the Japan Airlines 123 Boeing 747 crash in Japan that was from poor maintenance & fatigue on that poor maintenance. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japan_Airlines_Flight_123 My structures professor at that time gave us a lecture on procedures, maintenance and fatigue that still hurts my ears. Exactly what his issue was we never found out but he was hyper upset about HOW that came about and what was ignored.

21 kun oldin
Joakim Persson
Joakim Persson

@Darth Pseudonym the people who founded new Madrid can't possibly have pronounced it like that besides when you take an already well established names you can't just change pronunciation of it just because you wanna be special.

25 kun oldin
JJ LL
JJ LL

It's not hard to "understate the severity of the situation" rather it's hard to OVERSTATE it.

2 soat oldin
Jacques Blaque
Jacques Blaque

You'll see, also, at 5:11 at top-center, a pin and hanger assembly, similar to one that failed on CT's Mianus River bridge, bringing down one lane of a span. Bad flashbacks.

4 soat oldin
Bellingham FPV
Bellingham FPV

Don't think you need to be any kind of expert to realize that that bridge needed to be shut down.

5 soat oldin
Lonewolf2777
Lonewolf2777

has mothman been sighted down there?

8 soat oldin
Britspence381
Britspence381

I'm not an engineer-type fellow but I enjoyed the video and learned a lot. I live in Coastal Virginia and we have many bridges to cross. I have seen snooper-trucks (thanks for teaching me that term) regularly on the bridge that I cross almost every day.

10 soat oldin
joespappa
joespappa

Once again. Our government FAILED THE PUBLIC.

15 soat oldin
MyerShift
MyerShift

Indicative of EVERYTHING wrong and going on in the world. Check the box. It's fine. This is a rampant problem and higher ups need exposed and held accountable.

16 soat oldin
Lloyd Isaacs
Lloyd Isaacs

If its like that there what is it like id say the same all over its completely rotten needs to be replaced

16 soat oldin
Ryan Stewart
Ryan Stewart

For NDA reasons, I will merely ask some questions What if the inspection team had repeatedly brought this to the attention of their supervisors but no further action was taken? Do we actually know what was said and what decisions were made? What resources were made available to the inspection team and were they sufficient to the task? Was proper training and instruction provided for the job? Were rough drafts of the reports censored by those in charge of money? How about we don't just throw the inspectors under the bus (bridge?) without knowing all the facts. Always remember; Health and Safety Departments should be more accurately called Litigation Mitigation Departments.

17 soat oldin
WhatUpBigPimps
WhatUpBigPimps

2:26 "how did engineers know to act so quickly? maybe because half of the bridge was completely severed? any moron wouldve done the same

Kun oldin
OneOFThese NotLikeTheOther
OneOFThese NotLikeTheOther

Crazy year lot of bad people lot of bad things happened.... Probably just a coincidence 😉

Kun oldin
Sam, The Car Guy
Sam, The Car Guy

As a bridge design engineer, I quite enjoyed this video. Thanks for sharing

Kun oldin
Bubba Hottep
Bubba Hottep

We already heard what happened there. They bragged about it. Before it collapsed, that is. After, they started denying it.

Kun oldin
shagbark54
shagbark54

Government workers don't know the difference between a crack and a break. duh

Kun oldin
lk mayhew
lk mayhew

This is the most informative video on any subject that I have ever see . Thank you so much for explaining so much and making it understandable. Hats off to you👌🥰😌

Kun oldin
J. Konrad
J. Konrad

I often face challenges in transferring my knowledge to your videos as the language barrier in Engineering is too much to handle even with my rather decent English skills. So my question: The cause of this failure is called stress corrosion cracking like seen (or rather having to be taken into account during calculations) in prestressed steel? The one where we limit it to elastic calculations and limit the tension?

Kun oldin
James Braley
James Braley

Arkansas is a classic “good ol’ boy” state. It doesn’t matter whether it’s Bill Clinton or Asa Hutchinson in charge - you can just look at the State Police diverting public funds into their own retirement system to see how crooked our state government has become. Compounding this problem is the judiciary and U S attorneys office. The system stinks, period.

Kun oldin
King Dubbs
King Dubbs

Yeah. I'm from Memphis and this could have been a severe tragic disaster. I wonder if the crack has been there for years and how did no one notice when they were building the bridge from day one?

Kun oldin
Clifford Zellner
Clifford Zellner

Some fishermen took a picture of the crack and sent that to officials to alert them, 3 months before they close it down?

Kun oldin
Robert Gantry
Robert Gantry

Man! I've gone across that bridge so many times in the last few years....

Kun oldin
Just J
Just J

Who is inspecting these structures and how often are they doing this? If it’s contracted out than it’s obviously going to the lowest bidder or someone who knows a guy who is connected to the department awarding the bid to inspect the structures…

Kun oldin
RON H
RON H

Just got your video on my feed. Love how you demonstrate the bridge with the model

Kun oldin
pedro Nonofyourbusiness
pedro Nonofyourbusiness

I am glad that dispite this having been a clear 'inspection failure' I am glad that you keep pointing to the 'natural inevitibility' of failures in just about anything and that the best we can hope for being inspectiin catching faikures before the becone catastrophic Good presentation

2 kun oldin
Jonathan Hernandez
Jonathan Hernandez

Exactly why we should be advocating for an infrastructure bill to bring it up to date.

2 kun oldin
Greg Helms
Greg Helms

Still cringe to think I’ve been over that bridge many times at or close to 80k pounds since that crack had been there.

2 kun oldin
Tim Hensley
Tim Hensley

I would not wait for engineers to come up with an idea. I would not cross that bridge.

2 kun oldin
Mike Mills
Mike Mills

The problem is the idiots in charge piss all the tax dollars away that could be used to build new bridges but instead they put bandaid on top of bandaid to infrastructure that was only designed with a 50 year lifespan. Replace the bridges instead of patching them up.

2 kun oldin
Joseph Phelps
Joseph Phelps

So, you should look into the huge emc billboard that fell at the hard rock arena

2 kun oldin
SISYPHUS VASILIAS
SISYPHUS VASILIAS

GOOD NEWS GUY!!!!! Both Parties want to Privatise American Infrastructure out to Corporations and let them take responsibility for Maintenance while ensuring no individual person can be held legally responsible for any negligence.

2 kun oldin
SISYPHUS VASILIAS
SISYPHUS VASILIAS

US Gov and FedRes generated more than enough money to maintain and repair all of USAs aging critical infrastructure...but chose to give the money to Privately owned Banks and Investment Funds instead.

2 kun oldin
SISYPHUS VASILIAS
SISYPHUS VASILIAS

Shux..... Practical Engineering is becoming an Autopsy Channel for collapsing US Infrastructure.

2 kun oldin
SteveG 6513
SteveG 6513

Well presented as always! Nicely done.

2 kun oldin
john doe
john doe

I can already tell you why this happened. It's because of the mentality of work effort here. No where else can you go to any restaurant, business, or government agency and be told they are closed two or three hours earlier than posted, when they are indeed still on the clock. As a memphian I can tell you that we don't work hard here for the most part. We do the bare minimum and that's it. In other words don't expect nothing when yall come here 🤣🤣 cuz it will shock you.

2 kun oldin
V. E.
V. E.

Gross mis-management, highlighted by a token firing of a mid-level inspector. Nice job guys. Our nation is slowly decaying under our feet and fat, lazy old men are responsible. Supervisors deferring to subordinates who, in turn, defer to subordinates, etc., etc. smh America's infrastructure is in dire peril, across the country.

2 kun oldin
Mojito
Mojito

This is the most boring shit i’ve seen all week

2 kun oldin
Green Nights
Green Nights

What do I think? lol The shadow of the ax hangs over it all. I cannot stop thinking the futility of it all is proof of my blunder.

2 kun oldin
Farm Cat
Farm Cat

I hope you and your team are making a ton of dough off these!

2 kun oldin
meme man
meme man

4:33 I pass this bridge every day and always wondered how the arch sat in the middle. For those wondering this is the Fort Pitt bring in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania

2 kun oldin
zeutomehr
zeutomehr

whats the song in the intro here?

2 kun oldin
zack1stplayer
zack1stplayer

The fact that that fracture might have been on the bridge since 2016 just reminds me of the poor state of the Golden Gate Bridge. Though it's hard to tell from the outside, that damned bridge has so much damage the management just ignores

2 kun oldin
Cees Heemskerk
Cees Heemskerk

Build in 1973 means build without computer. In that time it was oldfashed calculating and then divided times two, That is the reason that the bridge is not collapsed

2 kun oldin
Cees Heemskerk
Cees Heemskerk

@It is good day to be not dead. English is not my nativ language....

Kun oldin
It is good day to be not dead.
It is good day to be not dead.

your English is horrendous, seriously idk what youre trying to say

2 kun oldin
Dave in MD
Dave in MD

It's New Maadrid, long "a", not Madrid like the city. We like to pronounce things differently in the Midwest, like Karo, spelled Cairo, or New Berlin, accent on the first syllable, not Berlin like the city in Germany or the composer.

3 kun oldin
Romanian Prince
Romanian Prince

Another case of shit rolling down hill!

3 kun oldin
202tupper
202tupper

5700 comments... ill get yelled at for this, but here goes: span is too long for a tie arch that is not fully 2 arches. the stylishness where the upper arches meet increases load to the outter ends of the arch. only way this design arch could be reliable long term would have been to build with abutments or have added a means to transfer force to a larger center pier

3 kun oldin
snicklefritz669
snicklefritz669

That's absolutely right. 1 Person Should NOT be responsible for such a vital structure as this.

3 kun oldin
warren wilson
warren wilson

Terrific job on this video. What on earth happens to all of the barge traffic? (July 26, 2021, St. Joseph, MO.)

3 kun oldin
Allen L
Allen L

I have dealt with ARDOT.. That is one slow ass agency. They take forever to approve the slightest thing! Then something like this and they still don’t get it done. It is clear to me why Arkansas produced a President as bad as Bill Clinton! Just imagine all the ladies that have to sell themselves to get the inspection of the bridge done properly! I bet Bill wishes he still had a hockup now that his buddy Jeffrey Epstein is long gone! They were thick as two porn stars when times were good! Thank God the country was spared the Hillary Presidency!

3 kun oldin
LA Hover Bikes
LA Hover Bikes

HOLD UP!! did you just casually glide past the fact they knew the crack was there 2 years earlier??? Because that's kinda A BIG DEAL!

3 kun oldin
Molandria
Molandria

In california, it was discovered a few years ago that for many years, Bridge Inspectors were just filling out paperwork and never actually inspecting the bridges.

3 kun oldin
Arden Phone Taylor
Arden Phone Taylor

Great video!! I live the at home example to show how the load is distributed!

3 kun oldin
JuliaB
JuliaB

Thank you for explaining it in a way I can understand it. I’ve driven across that bridge many times. This is kinda scary.

3 kun oldin
Debbie Lam
Debbie Lam

The democraps are so worried about a vote they flood our country with illegals Which makes our roads,schools,jail ,law enforcement,housing ,medical,sewage systems and food supplies etc Get overwhelmed if they don’t care about those issues you know maintenance and preservation of our original infrastructure is the least of there worries

3 kun oldin
garycsfunlife
garycsfunlife

Sounds more like some government officials decided to put off the repair due to overall price from fix and from shutting it down but this is just my opinion from dealing with officials in the past

3 kun oldin
ZeFiX_SicKem
ZeFiX_SicKem

4:51 This model only represents the bridge if it was made in a different way. The i40 bridge with the crack has two sides, one with the crack and the other side with no crack. Hypothesis: If you were to add another rope to the model that you demonstrated, the model would not collapse. I understand that this is just a demonstration and is not an actual representation of the bridge, but you can see the bridge were the beam on 1 side of the bridge has fractured but the other side of the bridge seemly has no fractures.

3 kun oldin
Ron Z Photography
Ron Z Photography

I crossed that bridge, with the crack there. I'm glad that not only myself and my dog crossed that bridge safely, but others did too before it was closed. What could have been and the lives lost...

3 kun oldin
Patrick W
Patrick W

Roflmao at the New Madrid thing.... People here in the midwest-southern region, love to butcher intl names. Versailles, MO is pronounced Ver-SALES Nevada, MO is Ne-Vay-duh And they wonder why they get treated like illiterate stupid folk.

3 kun oldin
Lee Huff
Lee Huff

Interesting that the bridge shown as an example of the tied arch design was the Fort Pitt Bridge in Pittsburgh, PA. I've been over THAT bridge way more times than I care to remember. This incident reminds me of a similar one back in the late 70s, involving the I-79 bridge over the Ohio River at Coraopolis, PA. A crack was spotted by a towboat crew passing under the back channel section. That crack was later determined to be caused by a then- new welding process whose name escapes me, but has since been banned in bridge construction. The process introduced a brittleness to the surrounding steel that was aggravated by the bitter cold weather the area was suffering over the course of several winters at the time.

3 kun oldin
Walnutter
Walnutter

I'm an inspector and you don't want to know how bad American bridges are and how rarely we are allowed to inpect them.

3 kun oldin
Walnutter
Walnutter

I the video he states every couple of years but that's a lie. They won't let us because it's not in the budget and when we find something they sit on doing anything for as long as possible. Firing that inspector was to save face.

3 kun oldin
mohasaud
mohasaud

De Soto’s down but Cosmo’s got the caboose

3 kun oldin
MY 2RUE-SENSE (Vlad Tepes)
MY 2RUE-SENSE (Vlad Tepes)

Have you covered the old Sunshine-Skyway Bridge Incident in early 80's St. Pete FL??

3 kun oldin
MY 2RUE-SENSE (Vlad Tepes)
MY 2RUE-SENSE (Vlad Tepes)

Why haven't they built a Temp. Span in the interim??

3 kun oldin
Arioch IV
Arioch IV

How would they go about fixing such damage?

3 kun oldin
Joey Pincombe
Joey Pincombe

Is it possible to weld that huge crack or would they have to rebuild the bridge ?

4 kun oldin
Joey Pincombe
Joey Pincombe

Ok thank you for the info cause the size of the crack in the bridge was super thick I'd hate to think that I would be driving on that bridge ps how old is that bridge I know it must have come from a steel mill somewhere

3 kun oldin
Lee Huff
Lee Huff

Since that piece has already failed, they will likely cut it out to a determined safe margin, and splice in a new member. The splicing will likely be done with fish plates and bolts to make the joints. Welding would possibly weaken the steel surrounding the new weld by burning the carbon out of the surrounding steel.

3 kun oldin
Dan Shearer
Dan Shearer

Yep. I am glad they closed it. I was pissed off with the 45 minute detour and delay driving back to Arizona, but now I understand totally.

4 kun oldin
KingCrusty
KingCrusty

Wild to think I had driven accross this bridge just 2 months prior on my trip to Memphis.

4 kun oldin
Samuel Copeland
Samuel Copeland

This is the best video yet. If you made a video about the golden gate bridge collapsed. I am happy the Hernando Desota bridge didn't collapse.

4 kun oldin
master 67
master 67

how close did this bridge come to failing??? umm that big ass cracked beam looks like a fail to me

4 kun oldin
Stinky Ham
Stinky Ham

I bet that inspector was thinking to himself "f@$!, why me? Why couldn't Ralph or Bob have found this! God damn, now I have close this stupid bridge. This was supposed to be my day off!"

4 kun oldin
Arthur Balls
Arthur Balls

Should've called Andrew Camarata

4 kun oldin
Chaplin Vici
Chaplin Vici

What really happened was corruption. Paying uniformed mercenaries to harass and eat out the substance of the citizenry to fund a privately owned prison industry. What happened is corrupt politicians pandering to socialist special interests, instead of to funding maintenance and repair. Inspections every 5 yrs instead of every year, because funding... that crack should have been discovered and fixed, long before it became a break. This was an infrastructural attack by treasonous politicians claiming negligence as an excuse for liability.

4 kun oldin
Mike Mhoon
Mike Mhoon

Cracked beam....bridge broken.🤷‍♂️

4 kun oldin
W. M.
W. M.

I'm just here for the Al Gore rhythms. BTW, I enjoy your videos. Thanks!

4 kun oldin
Douglas Harlan
Douglas Harlan

Being the failed section the I 40 bridge has been removed, hopefully there is a failure analysis .to be under taken to determined the how and what caused the fracture. Ret. Me Eng

4 kun oldin
Michael Massey
Michael Massey

Rap music done this

4 kun oldin
Frosty Los
Frosty Los

They say itll take til August 2021 to fix it. Never knew about this til today. only read that someone got fired.

4 kun oldin
bwhog
bwhog

So just a comment here... While the earlier inspections missed this defect, a later inspection DID catch it BEFORE catastrophic failure, even if was pure luck that kept the bridge intact. So even though the inspection process was flawed, the process of inspections actually fulfilled their intended function and identified a problem before it resulted in a failure of the structure. It's inexcusable for it to have gone unremarked for so long and probably a fair number of people need to answer for that but, nevertheless, the inspectors that caught it still kept the public safe and they deserve our thanks.

4 kun oldin
xxdfoster
xxdfoster

Ahhh education. Thanks for taking the time to share this , sir.

4 kun oldin
Lewi - Life
Lewi - Life

I’ve always wanted to know what bridge this was, I remember falling asleep when I was on a car ride home as a kid and woke up for a couple minutes and have a vivid memory of seeing this huge ugly ass bridge and assuming it was near my house for so long but never saw it. This explains it… this thing is over a hundred miles away I just didn’t have any concept of time since I fell asleep 😂

5 kun oldin
Thomas Hadley
Thomas Hadley

thanks but what is happenning to the inspection protocol

5 kun oldin
Curtis Gipson
Curtis Gipson

As a lifelong Memphian it is weird to hear you talking about and even just seeing videos of Memphis.

5 kun oldin
Ayahoo
Ayahoo

Don't worry guys we fired a single person this clearing us of all wrong!

5 kun oldin
Tim Pagliarulo
Tim Pagliarulo

I don't know if I would consider this bridge iconic. It's quite ugly honestly.

5 kun oldin
em1o smurf
em1o smurf

update: just a few more weeks, folks. apparently there were a few more issues needing attention, and then we'll see. let's see if the elephant walks all the way across.

5 kun oldin
Showsee One
Showsee One

It’s called typical Memphis corruption

5 kun oldin
Tim Lowe
Tim Lowe

I drive a truck and I've crossed that bridge hundreds of times. I get scared crossing bridges sometimes,

5 kun oldin
David Anderson
David Anderson

I don’t know if anybody knows but this is infrastructure. Lol

5 kun oldin
trapshooter1991
trapshooter1991

I live nowhere near Memphis, but I am particularly interested in this as it seems (to a non-engineer) like the same thing that happened to the Sherman Minton Bridge between Louisville KY and New Albany, IN. The bridges are nearly identical, as are the problems being discussed.

5 kun oldin
Dac L
Dac L

If this was in my country, they would've waited until next elections to fix it... with a duct tape, and steal a lot of money for it.

5 kun oldin
Mixed Reality Sim Racing
Mixed Reality Sim Racing

Guess the redundancy was that there are two sides connected with crossbars

5 kun oldin
Sylvia Rusty FæThey
Sylvia Rusty FæThey

So, RDOT had a single person inspect the entire bridge every time from 2016 to 2021? like i fuckin believe that

5 kun oldin
mrfunnylookin ha yes
mrfunnylookin ha yes

I40 bridge, I35W bridge in Minneapolis and the Florida tower. All is a sign that this nation have a lot of work to do to keep our roadway and homes safe. And we have one group playing politics for the last 10 years. Theses things didn't have to happen. Call your congress member and tell them to pass that bill to repair this nation.

5 kun oldin
US - Uncle Sam
US - Uncle Sam

Where was the steel made? C H I N A

5 kun oldin
Jordan Dixon
Jordan Dixon

As an inspector it helps to know that you have to inspect 1k’s of things, and with to few people and way too many things to check thing get missed I appreciate that you pointed that out. The real issue is under funded, over worked inspectors.

5 kun oldin
kwnyupstate
kwnyupstate

Engineers make decision it is unsafe then politicians find people to say some cheap repair is good enough until it can be permanently fixed.

5 kun oldin
ks10308
ks10308

what is the song you use in the beginning of the video? Love it

5 kun oldin

Keyingisi

Why do hurricane lanterns look like that?

31:46

Why do hurricane lanterns look like that?

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