Three defective ASTM A 514 steel splice plates were discovered on the I-275 Combs-Hehl twin bridges over the Ohio River. A follow-on in-depth field inspection of 1,356 A 514 steel plates on the bridges revealed 14 additional defective gusset and splice plates. The A 514 steel was improperly heat-treated resulting in a brittle crack-prone microstructure. Ultrasonic and impact hardness tests were used to identify the defective steel. Subsequently, the defective steel plates were either removed or lapped with additional steel plates.

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