Investigation of the Charlotte Motor Speedway Bridge Collapse

On May 20, 2000, shortly after the finish of a racing event at the Motor Speedway in Charlotte, NC, one span of a four-span, simply-supported, precast, pretensioned concrete pedestrian bridge collapsed injuring 107 people. The bridge was approximately five years of age at the time of collapse. Although this was a private structure used to facilitate crowd movement from the speedway to parking lots, it spanned a major US highway. The litigation that resulted from this collapse was settled over the following years. WDP & Associates, Inc. was retained by one of the principal parties in the various lawsuits and given the task to determine the probable cause of the collapse. The investigation included an extensive review of information from public and private sources; field investigation of the debris from the double-T beams that collapsed and of those that were dismantled from the other three spans did not collapse; and, an extensive laboratory investigation. This paper summarizes the investigation into the cause of the collapse. Details of the various phases of the investigation are provided. An important question that became particularly relevant during the litigation, such as whether the bridge had ever been inspected, and if it had, what was observed, is discussed.

  • Availability:
  • Corporate Authors:

    American Society of Civil Engineers

    International Headquarters, 1801 Alexander Bell Drive
    Reston, VA  United States  20191-4400

    Structural Engineering Institute

    American Society of Civil Engineers
    1801 Alexander Bell Drive
    Reston, VA  United States  20191-4400
  • Authors:
    • Poston, Randall W
    • West, Jeffrey S
  • Conference:
  • Publication Date: 2005


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: CD-ROM
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 11p
  • Monograph Title: Metropolis and Beyond: Proceedings of the 2005 Structures Congress and the 2005 Forensic Engineering Symposium, April 20-24, 2005, New York, NY

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01036388
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 0784407533
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Oct 27 2006 8:15AM