Recent hydraulic bridge failures in China: review and discussion


  • Sifeng Qin College of Civil Engineering and Architecture, Dalian University, Dalian (China)
  • Huili Wang National and Local Joint Engineering Laboratory of Bridge and Tunnel Technology, Dalian University of Tech-nology, Dalian (China)
  • Zhikang Luo National and Local Joint Engineering Laboratory of Bridge and Tunnel Technology, Dalian University of Tech-nology, Dalian (China)



This paper studies 123 hydraulic bridge failures in China from 1998 to 2018. The geographic distribution, age distribution, bridge type distribution, time distribution and the hydraulic bridge failure causes are analyzed. Six typical failure cases of hydraulic bridges are analyzed in detail. 100 hydraulic bridge failures occurred in southern China so hydraulic bridge failures are much more common in this area. The average service life of these bridges is 28.9 years. The beam bridge accounts for the largest proportion of hydraulic bridge failure because 71 (57.7%) beam bridges were destroyed by flood. Hydraulic bridge failure mainly occurred between 2009 and 2014, which was related to the impact of the Wenchuan earthquake. The incidents major causes include unexpected flood, earthquake, old bridge, over sand exploitation, low awareness of hydraulic bridge damage, extreme morphology of the river, etc. There are both natural factors and man-made factors. These results show that three aspects should be paid attention to: (1) unexpected flood; (2) appropriate bridge type; and (3) extreme morphology of the river.


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2022-08-31 — Updated on 2022-09-01


How to Cite

Qin, S., Wang, H. ., & Luo, Z. . (2022). Recent hydraulic bridge failures in China: review and discussion. Revista De La Construcción. Journal of Construction, 21(2), 193–203. (Original work published August 31, 2022)