Bridge collapses in Turkey: causes and remedies

2020-12-01
Schaap, Hulya Sonmez
Caner, Alp
Bridge collapses in Turkey have not been the subject of any comprehensive study so far. Investigations are often kept confidential for various reasons. As a result, most of the time only limited information can be found about these collapses with some exceptions such as the 1999 Arifiye Bridge collapse due to seismic event and the 2012 caycuma bridge collapse due to pier scour. Both resulted in fatalities, which drew public awareness from the first day. The focus of this paper is to identify the causes of bridge collapses and to assess the possible prevention measures based on lessons learned. In this scope, for the first time in Turkey various reported bridge collapses were gathered in a database mostly occurring between the years of 2000 and 2019. The study of over 80 bridges that experienced failures revealed that for road bridges hydraulic events and for pedestrian bridges vehicle collisions were the main causes. Bridge engineering in Turkey is briefly discussed to provide better understanding of the countries' conditions. A section is also included to mention some significant historical bridges whose design has helped them to withstand the conditions were still struggling to address in the 20th century.