Diagnosis, assessment and repair of the Mathilde bridge close to collapse during a fire

The Mathilde Bridge is one of the six bridges over the Seine River in the city of Rouen and supports a heavy traffic. It was built in 1977-79 and is composed of a single steel span 115 m long, consisting of an orthotropic deck resting on two girders. On October 29th, 2012, the Mathilde bridge was subject to a heavy fire and was immediately closed to traffic. After recalling the events, the article describes the decisions that had to be taken in emergency, then the extended diagnosis and the choice of the assessment method. Rapid decisions had first to be taken regarding the waterway traffic under the bridge and the choice between repair or reconstruction. The diagnosis consisted of a detailed inspection including the search of cracks and the condition of the paint, extensive non destructive specific investigations carried out on the bridge and laboratory investigations on a few samples of steel. The assessment consisted in an accurate measurement of the global deformations of the entire span, a recalculation of the stability of the burned areas, and an expertise of the damaged support bearings. The article is written in the spirit of a forensic engineering approach.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Pagination: pp. 331-338
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01688983
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Institut Francais des Sciences et Technologies des Transports, de l'Amenagement et des Reseaux (IFSTTAR)
  • Files: ITRD
  • Created Date: Dec 18 2018 10:20AM