Talk:West Gate Bridge

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Clean up page[edit]

This page needs to be updated to look like the San Francisco Oakland Bay Bridge article.

History[edit]

There's a big gap here - it starts with the collapse, nothing about what was there originally, when the plans for a bridge here were originally made, how the designers were selected etc. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 58.110.69.41 (talk) 07:21, 1 January 2011 (UTC)

(→Collapse - fragments at monash)[edit]

On 20 January Aspirex added the following paragraph "Six twisted fragments of the collapsed bridge can be found adorning the gardens in the engineering faculty of Monash University, Clayton campus. The bridge was designed by graduates from the University of Melbourne, and in honour of the rivalry between the two universities, Monash students think of the fragments as an example their rivals' inferiority. Exactly how or why Monash University came to possess the fragments is not known."

I am using the collapse as a case in an engineering knowledge management lecture at Melbourne University, and would be happy to have evidence that this anecdote is actually true. On the other hand, I would prefer not inflame any rivalry between the institutions by passing on false information. A risk engineer who has studied the case in depth through the transcripts and associated files says that he is quite unaware that any of the engineers where Melbourne graduates. If Aspirex has evidence to the contrary, please list source references here.

BillHall 02:58, 6 March 2006 (UTC)

(Further research)[edit]

The collapse of the bridge is a complex topic. With 35 fatalities and many injuries wholly attributable to the management and execution of the engineering aspects of the project, it deserves treatements as one of the major engineering failures of the world. However, to say that "the bridge was designed by graduates from the University of Melbourne" appears to be false. Based on the 1971 Report of the Royal Commission into the Failure of West Gate Bridge, available from the Engineering Project Management Group, The University of Melbourne, Victoria 3010 Australia, the truth is substantially more complicated.

Maunsell and Partners of Melbourne, consulting and civil engineers (who had limited experience with major bridges of structural steel) joined with Freeman, Fox and Partners - "FF&P" - an English firm of consulting and civil engineers of world reputation) to submit preliminary plans for a bridge that could then be put out to tender, that was put out to registered tenderers in Oct. 1967. The steel bridge works were awarded to World Services and Construction ("WSC") P/L an Australian subsidiary of Werkspoor Utrecht N.V., based in the Netherlands. Due to continuing labor troubles, the bridge erection part of WSC's contract was terminated 13 March 1970. John Holland (Constructions) Pty Ltd ("JHC") was contracted on 10 July 1970 to complete the erection works. It is unclear how many, if any, WSC staff were Melbourne University engineers.

John Holland's Project Manager, T.R. Nixon had a BCE from Melbourne Uni, as did W.F. Tracey, section engineer for erecting the steelwork on the west side. Tracey died in the collapse.

However, it is clear from the Royal Commission that the initiating conditions for the disaster had already well established by the design and consulting engineers as well as by the construction company John Holland replaced. John Holland's main fault was in failing to recognise that they had inherited a disaster in the making even though their contract terms released them from liability for engineering.

The primary failures in the engineering design and erection were those of the London based FFP. The Royal Commission lists 11 censurable errors by FFP head office and four by FF&P site staff. Regarding FF&P, the Royal Commission stated, "...we are compelled to conclude that FF&P bear a heavy burden of responsibility for the failure of the bridge. While we have found it necessary to make some criticism of all the other parties, justice to them requires us to state unequivocally that the greater part of the blame must be attributed to FF&P."

JHC's engineers, although not experts in designing steel bridges, questioned the safety of the design, but were reassured by FF&P that the bridge would be safe in erection and in service.

The final act that triggered the collapse, the removal of some 30 bolts, was done by the express direction of FF&P. "From Tracy's [JHC Section Engineer, killed in the collapse] point of view..., the responsibility for the removal of the bolts had been assumed by Ward [FF&P's resident Section Engineer]. Thus it is difficult to lay any very serious blame on Tacey, for falling in with what amounted to a direct order from the engineers, in a field which was within their province.... For these reasons we cannot attach any part of the responsibility for this tragic act to JHC or its personnel."

Except for the unlikely situation that FF&P's engineers in London trained at the University of Melbourne, it seems that the first clause in the sentence in the article, "The bridge was designed by graduates from the University of Melbourne, and in honour of the rivalry between the two universities, Monash students think of the fragments as an example their rivals' inferiority", is on the face of it false; and even if it is true, the rest of the sentence is unnecessarily contentious.

Therefore I am deleting this sentence from the article.

--BillHall 01:48, 8 March 2006 (UTC)


January 2009 incident[edit]

I took out: "he was arrested on first degree murder charges that could send him to prison for life." for two reasons. 1, there's no 'degrees' of murder in Australia so First Degree is wrong. 2. A person isn't 'arrested on charges'. They're arrested - then charged.

Dgen (talk) 23:11, 29 January 2009 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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External links modified[edit]

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Tolls[edit]

The bridge had tollbooths initially, and became free later. Polypipe Wrangler (talk) 04:36, 29 September 2016 (UTC)