Safety issues in bridge demolition projects
a case study
This article features a project case study in the demolition of freeway bridges and viaducts damaged during the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake in California. Safety was of high concern to the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and its subcontractors throughout the project. Because these bilevel multispan bridges ran through heavily populated areas of downtown San Francisco and were sometimes within feet of buildings and other structures, creative solutions were needed to protect adjacent structures while the bridges and viaducts were being demolished. This article describes some of these solutions, as well as the protocols and relationships with contractors that resulted in the project being completed without any major accident or injury.