Seattle I5 bridge collapse
Shortly after 7pm on the 23rd of May the Seattle Bridge, I5 interstate bridge over the Skagit River collapsed. Fortunately there were no reported casualties, and the only damages were to the 58-year-old bridge itself and 2-3 cars half submerged in the river below. Moments earlier, security camera footage shows a large truck going over the structure and clipping a bridge girder. It seems extraordinary that a strike like this would cause a catastrophic bridge collapse. Was that what caused the catastrophic collapse? Only time will tell, but the estimated cost to repair the bridge is $15 million. Could this have been prevented with preventive maintenance and a CMMS?
Too early to say
According to the American Society of Civil Engineers’ (ASCE) 2013 infrastructure report card, 25% of Washington State bridges are considered structurally deficient or functionally obsolete. Approximately 39% of the county’s bridges are 50 or more years older. Traffic is now being re-routed away from the Seattle i 5 bridge to smaller bridges that scored lower than the I-5 Bridge. In fact, US President Obama has just recently promised to pump billions of into the counties ailing infrastructure after the ASCE gave US infrastructure a D+ in a published report in May 2013.
Its just nature
Just like all things on this planet, if left to rust, bridges will erode and decompose without proper up keep. If you perform regular inspections and maintenance on your car, house, computer, even your body, you can extend the expected lifetime considerably. Organizations perform maintenance on their assets such as buildings and equipment to lower the total cost of ownership, prevent equipment failure, improve asset utilization and extend its lifetime. A prime example of a prolonged and impressive existence is the Brooklyn Bridge. Built in May 24, 1883 it is not only a fully functioning and iconic bridge, but it has been serving travellers for over a century. Regular routine maintenance and inspections are performed on the Brooklyn Bridge so ensure the bridge remains structurally sound. This includes:
- Debris removal
- Mechanical sweeping,
- Cleaning of expansion joints
- Full-bridge painting
- Patching sidewalks
- Sealing cracks
- Electrical and mechanical maintenance overhauls
This sort or preventative maintenance is essential for keeping any structure standing and functioning. The Brooklyn Bridge is 130 years old and could predictably be around for another century.
Spend now or pay later
Regular maintenance inspections like that on the Brooklyn Bridge ensure issues are spotted before they can turn into something more serious. Plan now or pay later! A simple way to track maintenance inspection schedules is through preventive maintenance software like a CMMS. Using a CMMS to track maintenance inspections and scheduled repairs would not completely eliminate bridge failures like this, but it would ensure city planners are doing everything they could to extend the lifetime and give enough time to proactively plan a replacement when needed.
Why should you use a CMMS?
If you ask the following, you’re probably not using a CMMS:
- Where are the maintenance records?
- When did we last perform a repair on that system? Who did it?
- Is that the system with that recurring problem?
- When was the last time that asset was inspected?
Fiix CMMS lets you track all maintenance information such as repairs and work logs, installs and de-installs, warranties, parts consumption, suppliers, service providers – basically Fiix CMMS offers a one stop database for information about assets and equipment. The main advantages to using Fiix CMMS:
- Helps extend the life expectancy of assets.
- Eliminates extensive paper trails by automating processes
- Optimizes the use of scarce resources such as manpower, equipment, materials and parts.