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In 1979, during a routine bridge inspection, a fatigue crack was discovered in the top flange plate of one tie girder in a tied arch bridge crossing the Mississippi River. Metallographic analysis indicated a banding or segregation problem in the middle of the plate, where the carbon content was twice what it should have been. Based on this and results of ultrasonic testing, which revealed that the banding occurred in 24-ft lengths, it was decided to close the bridge and replace the defective steel. The steel used in the construction of this bridge was specified as ASTM A441, commonly...

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