Damage to Engineered Bridges from Wind, Storm Surge and Debris in the Wake of Hurricane Katrina

J.S. O'Connor and P.E. McAnany

MCEER-08-SP05 | 11/16/2008 | 154 pages

Keywords: Hurricane Katrina.  Wind loads.  Bridges.  Storm surges.  Debris.  Damage detection.  Remote sensing.  Structural performance.  Reconnaissance reports.

Abstract: The MCEER special report series "Engineering and Organizational Issues Before, During and After Hurricane Katrina" was initiated to present the findings from the field reconnaissance mission.  The topics addressed include advanced damage detection using remote sensing, damage to engineered structures, organizational decision making primarily in hospitals, and environmental and public health issues.  This report focuses on the structural performance of bridges. MCEER was interested in capturing photographs of the raw damage caused by Katrina and collecting perishable data that would be lost during repair and reconstruction.  The purpose of documenting the damage is to allow others to explore some of the reasons why certain structures survived and others did not.  The report is primarily based on a reconnaissance trip conducted about a week after the event (September 6-11, 2005), but is supplemented by information acquired during a second trip a month later (October 16-21, 2005).