Analytical Model Development and Analysis of the McCleary Bridge

Quarterly Reports Other Documents Final Report
 See CFIRE 03-05

Primary Investigator

Mike Oliva
University of Wisconsin – Madison
1415 Engineering Drive, 1214 EH
Madison, WI 53706


The I-35W Mississippi River bridge was an eight-lane steel truss arch bridge that carried 140,000 vehicles daily across the Mississippi River in Minneapolis, MN. On August 1, 2007, the bridge collapsed.  This accident has lead to additional emphasis on bridge performance monitoring across the nation.


Provide Wisconsin DOT with bridge failure warning signs so that a disaster can be avoided.


  1. Develop a nonlinear analytical model for a specific multi-span multi-lane highway bridge that could be used to model possible bridge collapse mechanisms.
  2. Use the bridge model to predict the sequence of damage and failure if that specific bridge started to collapse.
  3. Provide recommendations on how a disastrous failure could be avoided.

Project Information

  • Duration: 3 months
  • Dates: 9/10/2007 – 12/10/2007
  • Budget: $4,460
  • Student Involvement: None
  • Modal Orientation: Highway
  • Project ID: CFIRE 02-18
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