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The value of a structural/architectural forensic engineer is the ability to understand a structural or architectural problem and formulate an opinion by removing prescribed methods from the analysis process. What separates the quality forensic engineer from the rest is the ability to look beyond the prescribed methods found within building codes and develop solutions that avoid unnecessary repairs or at a minimum optimize the extent of types of repairs.


WALKER CONSULTANTS recently performed an investigation of a pedestrian bridge in Texas. Complete removal and replacement of a corroded structural steel framing member (supporting a breezeway connected to the pedestrian bridge) was recommended by others. WALKER performed a thorough forensic investigation that included up-close field observations, material sampling and testing, non-destructive evaluation, and structural analysis via finite element modeling (FEM) to assess the corroded steel framing.


It was concluded that the steel structure had sufficient capacity to resist the anticipated loads despite the section loss due to corrosion of the steel elements. This saved the owner more than $ 400,000 on a replacement project and reduced the construction schedule by six months. Additionally, as part of the project, a repair-in-place restoration program was developed.