## Abstract

A catastrophic brittle fracture occurred in a welded steel (ASTM A517 grade H) trapezoidal cross-section box girder while the concrete deck of a large bridge was being poured. The failure occurred across the full width of a 57 mm (2$14$ in.) thick, 760 mm (30 in.) wide flange and arrested 100 mm (4 in.) down the slant web. Failure analysis revealed a major deficiency in fracture toughness. The failure occurred as a brittle fracture after the formation of a welding hot crack and approximately 40 mm (1$12$ in.) of slow crack growth. It was recommended that bridges fabricated from this grade of steel undergo frequent inspection and that stringent test requirements be imposed as a condition of use in non-redundant main load-carrying components.