In October 1998, the San Antonio River Tunnel project experienced its largest flood to
date. During that event the Removable Splitter Wall (RSW) vortex suppression device
was damaged: The lower two panels apparently vibrated and broke due to fatigue. The
RSW was comprised of nine 25-ft long, by 6-ft high and I1-in thick panels. Each panel
was constructed of reinforced concrete with a C-channel framing the each edge.
According to Corps of Engineers staff, structural engineers have determined that the
failures, each at approximately the third points, were characteristic of a fatigue failure
(Photo 1). From Photo 2 of the panels being lifted from the inlet shaft, the panels broke
approximately 9 feet from the downstream end. The points of failure were also reported
to coincide with the lifting holes for the panels.
Halff Associates, Inc.; US Army Corps of Engineers
Thene, John R.; Richard, Christopher A.; Gulliver, John S..
San Antonio River Tunnel Inlet Physical Model Development and Study.
St. Anthony Falls Laboratory.
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