Much of what we see in the world around us, required a certain level of engineering to design and build. In many instances, our engineering ability has produced some pretty spectacular things including dams, bridges, and stadiums. However, with success comes failure and there are more than a few terrible engineering flops to cover. From skyscrapers that fall apart two bridges that can handle wind two ships that are waterproof. All of these files are pretty big and make the wonky train tracks look like a pretty easy fix.
Tacoma Washington Bridge
Odds are you’ve likely seen some of the incredible footage of Washington state’s Tacoma bridge before it plunged into the water in 1940. The bridge had been built to span the Tacoma narrows and was actually the third largest suspension bridge once opened .Yet, it had a big design flaw, with only two lanes, designers use relatively small girders we didn’t provide enough rigidity to the finished product. The result was that in high wind, the brief started swinging and twisting. In November 1940, the winds became too much in the poorly designed span collapsed.
The Boston Molasses Disaster
In 1919, molasses was an important part of the food and drink industry. In the dockyards of Boston, a giant holding tank was built to hold over million gallons of the sticky liquid. Unfortunately, the tank was never tested and the design was prone two leaks. On January fifteenth, under the strains of its contents, the storage tank burst, releasing a tidal wave of molasses into Boston. Traveling at kilometers an hour, the 26 million pounds of molasses crushed everything in its path, bent steel girders and lifted homes off of their foundation. By the end, of the tank failure who left dead and injured.
In the North Korean capital of Pyongyang sits a massive imposing pyramid structure. It’s known as the Ryugyong hotel, but it’s never actually had any guests. That’s because the secret of country has never been able to finish this giant project for a variety of reasons. Perhaps most importantly, the Ryugyong is said to have various features, like elevator shafts, which weren’t engineered properly and therefore don’t really work. It’s such a terrible design from top to bottom that some people are left wondering if you will ever actually be opened.
The United States is a long love affair with baseball. It’s part of the country’s history an important part of its identity. Because of this, you think they would have mastered the art of building a decent stadium. Take City Field for example. Costing 850 million dollars, it was supposed to be the great new home of the New York Mets. However, flooding, faulty plumbing and electrical, falling signs crumbling concrete and break downs in the elevators and hvac system made this place a real lemon.
Lotus Riverside Complex
In recent years, China has launched numerous ambitious building programs. However, lacks regulations and less than stellar build quality have meant some projects live up to the Made in China label. Take the Lotus River Side Complex for example. In 2009, a newly-built apartment building in the complex just fell over. It didn’t collapse but literally fell over on its side. The toppling was blamed on water which weekend the ground underneath. A sight which had many other owners in the complex asking for refunds.
The Walt Disney Concert Hall
Architect Frank Gehry is known for making some impressive designs. Downtown L.A.’s Walt Disney concert hall is one of them. The curving and twisting metal building is something to behold, unless you actually lived right near it. You see, the design of the hall and reflected a lot of sunlight and we mean a lot. Pedestrians and drivers said the building blinded them and nearby homeowners said the structure reflected a lot of sunlight which heated up their apartments. Not wanting to be known for building death rays, authorities moved to sandblast the structure and reduce the troubling glare.
The Hyatt Regency Walkway
The designers of the Hyatt Regency Kansas City hotel look to make their hotel stand out. How/ They added suspended walkways in the atrium which appeared as though you are floating in the air. Unfortunately, a design flaw I meant that the rods and beams meant to hold up two of the walkways were insufficient. Barely able to hold its own weight, the added weight of spectators during a dance in July 1981 was the tipping point. The collapse killed 114 and serves as a stark reminder of what can happen when engineers cut corners.
Chernobyl Nuclear Plant
In 1986, the nuclear plant at Chernobyl in the Soviet Union suffered a melt down and explosion. To this day, large areas around the plant for off-limits and devoid of life. In addition to human error, the reactor itself was to blame. Investigators found that the reactor design worsen the situation. Thanks to the fact that it was prone to instability. More precisely, the control rods responsible for moderating the reaction in the reactor or poorly designed actually caused an initial spike in power when inserted something which should not happen.
The John Hancock Tower
When a key feature of your 60story building is the massive amount of glass, you better hope you have the right window designs. The people who designed and built the John Hancock Tower in Boston didn’t do this. The results? While the building was under construction and had a nasty habit of popping off glass panels which smashed on the street below. Not the usual household windows, these were 500 pounds slabs. In fact, for four years, this happened until they discovered the window design was faulty. In the end, over 10,000 panes of glass had to be replaced and the project went wildly over budget.
We all know what happened to the famous Titanic but it didn’t have to. No, we’re not talking about the iceberg. Titanic should have survived that strike easily. Unfortunately, poor design and materials used led to the demise of the massive ship. You see researchers have concluded that the still used in the iron rivets were too brittle to handle the strain of impact. In addition, the compartments where the water rushed in should have been watertight, but they were designed intentionally to have a gap at the top. This allowed water to eventually flow into other compartments, doing the ship and Jack.