As Australia’s transportation infrastructure ages and expands rapidly, the destruction and replacement of current systems are becoming increasingly important. Highway bridge destruction has grown in importance as bridges reach the end of their service design life and require rehabilitation or replacement.
Highway widening to boost capacity also includes the partial or entire removal of highway bridges. This document explains the principles of highway bridge destruction, including systematic disassembly, crane use, and the engineering involved. The art and science of preventing unintended potential energy release during a demolition operation are known as systematic deconstruction.
Engineering is required for the deconstruction process in order to preserve the workers’ lives and to avoid damaging any other structures in close proximity to the structure to be demolished. Furthermore, the costly machinery utilized in the deconstruction process must be safeguarded.
As a result, nearly as much engineering analysis is required to dismantle a facility as it is to construct it. While a wrecking ball or an explosive event is commonly associated with the demolition of bridge demolishers in Sydney, these are not commonly utilized in highway bridge demolition. Explosive demolition is uncommon and is only employed on very massive bridges on occasion.
Hydraulic excavators sit on the deck of a standard highway overpass bridge, removing concrete with a hydraulic hammer or shear, and subsequently excavators or cranes situated on grade remove the girders. The bridge structure is examined for various excavator placements and demolition stages. For various demolition sequences, the excavator body weight and hammer tip weights are evaluated independently.