The Tappan Zee Bridge in New York is one of the busiest, since it connects the city’s northern suburbs. It’s estimated that around 138,000 cars travel on the bridge every day. It is currently undergoing construction, which is scheduled for completion in 2018. However, the completion date may be set back slightly after the recent collapse of one of the cranes being used for the bridge’s construction.
The crane supposedly malfunctioned and fell on the bridge, which caused the lanes to be shut down for hours. Fortunately, only minor injuries were sustained, including one construction worker, but the investigation into what caused the malfunction is just beginning.
Forensics Will Lead the Investigation
When a major event like this happens, the case is treated similarly to a criminal investigation. The amount of detail can’t be questioned, and a good forensic structural engineer will begin his investigation by looking at the days, or even weeks, before the catastrophic event took place.
Not only does there have to be a complete background check of the employees involved in the incident, but the company’s systems and safety protocols must be reviewed thoroughly to determine any existing holes and what can be done to fix them. Understanding the big picture surrounding the incident is the only way to help determine what actually could have happened.
Where Do Forensics Come Into Play?
The help of an forensic engineer is critical to kicking off the investigation. Many times, a trained, forensic engineer can look at the site of the incident and infer what may have happened based on a quick analysis. However, that information is only used as a basis for the investigation, and there are many other parts that have to be analyzed.
Knowing that an incident like this could be the result of an incompetent employee, faulty equipment, poor procedures and even insufficient supervision, there are a lot of different avenues to research and investigate.
At B.E. Structural, it’s the job of the structural forensic engineer to not only know where to begin, but to understand the entire picture to come up with the exact story of what happened. Once probable cause is identified, our expert team will gather to recommend solutions for preventing further issues in the future.
Whether there’s been a structural disaster either in a commercial or residential setting, contact us to help determine exactly what happened and how the issue can resolved and more importantly, prevented down the road.