Tag Archives: Bridges

12 Montreal structures considered critical due to corrosion

Montreal Mayor Gerald Tremblay said on Wednesday that 12 bridges, tunnels and overpasses in the city identified by engineers as being in critical condition.

“We have the reports from our engineers that these structures are safe,” Tremblay told reporters at city hall, where technical details on 35 structures were made public.

“From the moment one of our engineers or technicians informs (us) they are not safe, we will close the structure or limit access to it either by (reducing the number of) lanes or limiting the load.

“Just because it is critical doesn’t mean it isn’t safe.”

The mayor also said his administration is raising the annual average amount needed for repairs to $50 million from $30 million because of the advancing age of the 586 structures in the city of Montreal’s network. The request for more funds will be made in a new three-year infrastructure plan to be unveiled Thursday, Tremblay said.

On Wednesday, the city of Montreal made public inspection reports for 35 infrastructures on its territory. Of the 12 listed in “critical” condition, two are closed to the public, and one has undergone major repairs since the information was collected late last year.

The 12 in “critical” condition are:

  • Henri Bourassa Blvd. E./Pie IX Blvd. overpass
  • The former Wellington St. Tunnel under the Lachine Canal
  • Henri Bourassa Blvd. E./Metropolitan Blvd. E overpass
  • Rockland Ave./Bates Rd. overpass
  • Beaudry Tunnel, north side of Notre Dame St. E., near the Port of Montreal (private roadway)
  • Jean Talon St. W. overpass (west of Wilderton Ave.)
  • Jolicoeur St. bridge over Montreal Aqueduct
  • CN Rail bridge crossing l’Acadie Blvd., north of de Louvain St.
  • Park Ave. overpass/Highway 40 and service roads
  • Henri Bourassa Blvd. E./Sherbrooke St. E. overpass
  • Upper Lachine Rd./St. Jacques St. overpass
  • Snow ramp at St. Michel Quarry (no public access)

The reports detail the sites’ deterioration:

  • The Henri Bourassa Blvd. E./Pie IX Blvd. site has support walls that are severely cracked. Exposed reinforcement bars have also been badly corroded.
  • Pillars have a series of cracks in them, with eroded concrete.
  • The Wellington Tunnel, which has been out of service since the roadway was rebuilt as an overpass, suffers severe corrosion on 66 per cent of the structure’s support system.
  • The Henri Bourassa Blvd. E./Metropolitan Blvd. site has corroded beams and severe damage to the structure’s decking, with a risk of falling concrete.
  • The Rockland Ave. overpass’s support structure has lost about 10 per cent of its load-bearing capacity. Concrete is eroding and exposing reinforcement bars to rust and corrosion.
  • The Beaudry Tunnel has severe water damage.
  • Jean Talon St. W. overpass has severe corrosion to its support structure.
  • The Jolicoeur St. Bridge has cracks covering 30 per cent of the supporting walls’ surface.
  • The CN Rail bridge crossing l’Acadie Blvd. has cracks covering 100 per cent of its supporting pillars. About 15 per cent of the supporting walls’ surface is severely damaged.
  • Park Ave. overpass/Highway 40 and service roads: Expansion joints have been paved over. About 40 per cent of the joints’ surface is defective.
  • On the Henri Bourassa Blvd. E./Sherbrooke St. E. overpass, about 80 per cent of the concrete on the eastern wall is severely chipped.
  • At the Upper Lachine Rd./St. Jacques St. overpass, 40 per cent of the support walls’ concrete is severely chipped, exposing reinforcement bars to corrosion.
  • At the snow-dumping ramp at the St. Michel Quarry, 90 per cent of the support wall is covered in cracks, chips and ruptures.

No immediate repairs are planned for the Wellington Tunnel and the Beaudry Tunnel, as both sites are off-limits to the public.

An additional site, the St. Jean Baptiste Blvd. overpass at Highway 40/Metropolitan Blvd. E., was missing waterproofing membrane along its expansion joints, causing moisture to seep in. Concrete was also badly damaged along the joints. Repairs have begun at this site.

In Montreal’s disclosure, the city made public, for each of 35 structures, one-or twopage “inspection summary sheets” on which engineers have rated the deterioration of various elements. For each of the 35, photos of trouble spots were also provided.

Richard Bergeron, of the opposition Projet Montréal party, accused the city of holding back more detailed “engineers’ reports” for its structures.

But city spokesperson Philippe Sabourin denied that. He said the documents made public Wednesday are the complete inspection reports. “We don’t have any other reports,” Sabourin said.

By month’s end, the city is to publish on its website more information about the 520 other structures under its control. For those, Montreal will release the same type of “inspection summary sheets” but will not include photos, Sabourin said.

Tremblay said the city will henceforth provide annual updates on the state of every one of its structures via its website.

This week, Quebec Transport Minister Pierre Moreau pledged to make public inspection reports for all 10,000 structures under his control.

He did not provide a timeline.

SOURCE: http://www.montrealgazette.com/structures+considered+critical/5401145/story.html#ixzz1Y1MUaLdE

Plymouth Avenue bridge closed until next year

There’s good news and bad news for traffic users of the Plymouth Avenue Bridge. The good news is that city officials appear to have found the money needed to repair the bridge. The bad news is that it will probably be a year or more before the bridge is open to motor vehicle traffic.

Minneapolis City Engineer and Public Works Director Steven Kotke said most of the money is coming from the State of Minnesota. “We were successful in obtaining two different pots of money. One was kind of an emergency fund that the state had, and then the governor actually put in the state bonding bill $4 million for the Plymouth Bridge, and that gave us a grand total of right around $6 million, which is about what we think we need to fix the bridge.”

He said, however, that the various parts of the repair work need to be done in a certain order and in very close succession, and there’s not enough time to do it all this year. So they won’t be able to start the work until next year.

“The work needs to be sequenced in a continuous manner, so that would not allow us to do the work this fall and then stop for the winter and the start again,” he said. “We intend to get the project all bid out and start first thing in the spring. We’re anticipating it will be about four months worth of work, so that would put us probably near the end of August of 2012 to have the bridge completed and opened back up.

“So the good news is we were able to give everybody the green light to keep moving forward. It would have been nice if we could have started right away, but given the manner of the work that needs to be done, it would prevent that from happening,” he said.

“So we are continuing to finish the final design, and then it has to go through a state review process to make sure everything is right.”

The bridge crosses the Mississippi River and connects Eighth Avenue NE and Plymouth Avenue N. Motorists can cross the river using the Broadway Bridge six blocks to the north.

City engineers closed the Plymouth Avenue Bridge Oct. 22 after finding corrosion in its support system during a routine annual inspection. It was built in the 1980s and was the first of its kind—called post-tension segmental box girder—in Minnesota. City officials brought a consulting firm that specializes in this bridge design, to inspect the bridge and recommend repairs.

They found serious corrosion in at least five of the post-tension tendons in the bridge’s center span. These tendons, Kotke said earlier, are similar to the cables that support suspension bridges, and are designed to keep the bridge’s concrete parts pushing inward when a load is placed on the bridge surface. The concrete, he said, is strongest when it’s in this “compression mode.”

An initial report, issued in late December, recommended four major repairs:

  • Reconfigure the bridge’s drainage system to direct water away from the bridge’s box girders
  • Replace five of the bridge’s corroded support tendons
  • Add more tendons to improve the bridge’s flexing capability
  • Seal the bridge’s wearing surface with a penetrant sealer, or replace the wearing surface.

The bridge is currently open to pedestrians and bicyclists; bicyclists are asked to walk their bikes while on the bridge.

SOURCE: http://www.tcdailyplanet.net/news/2011/08/14/plymouth-avennue-bridge-closed-until-next-year

Hunter Mill Road bridge to be replaced

The bridge carrying Hunter Mill Road over Difficult Run will be replaced with a temporary structure this month after a regular inspection found severe corrosion in the bridge beams.

The corrosion cannot be repaired, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation. A temporary truss bridge will be installed this month, requiring some lane closures on the two-lane road. VDOT hopes to construct a permanent replacement next summer.

The damaged bridge did not posed a risk to drivers, said Jennifer McCord, a VDOT spokeswoman.

“VDOT has chosen, however, to remove the bridge from service as quickly as possible —especially after considering the large number of users, including trucks, who travel on Hunter Mill Road and its vital role as a corridor in Fairfax County — to eliminate any chance that heavy traffic conditions would contribute to accelerated deterioration and pose a future safety risk,” she said.

VDOT also reduced the weight limit on the bridge as a precaution.

The temporary truss bridge will cost about $300,000 to install. The permanent bridge will cost about $3 million; VDOT does not have money set aside for it.

The bridge was last replaced in 1993 with a structure consisting of a timber deck and steel beams, a type of bridge that has a lifespan of about 20 years under normal conditions, McCord said.

That bridge was intended to be an interim replacement while the state developed plans for a new one. But that project was later canceled because of opposition from the community.

The Hunter Mill Road bridge has been rated structurally deficient since 2005, a term meaning a bridge needs more frequent inspections and is a candidate for future rehabilitation and replacement.

While there are dozens of bridges in the area rated structurally deficient, Northern Virginia has the best bridge ratings in the state, McCord said. About 4 percent of bridges here are classified as deficient, compared with more than 10 percent statewide.

“There are a small number of structures on more heavily traveled, two-lane secondary roads that are classified as structurally deficient,” McCord said. “For most of them, plans for replacement in the next several years are already in development, and if not, they are candidates for rehabilitation or replacement as funds become available.”

All such bridges receive regular inspections and maintenance, she added.

SOURCE: http://www.fairfaxtimes.com/article/20110805/NEWS/708059738/-1/hunter-mill-road-bridge-to-be-replaced&template=fairfaxTimes

Bridge inspection in Bristol, Massachusetts revealed ‘severe’ corrosion

Bristol, MA — The inspection that led the state to drop the Brightman Street Bridge weight limit to 3 tons noted “severe” deficiencies in multiple parts of the bridge, including some that were said to require action as soon as possible.

Five months after the inspection, the Department of Transportation hasn’t made the repairs because the bridge is expected to be replaced by late summer by the Veterans Memorial Bridge, a DOT spokesman said. The weight limit was lowered instead.

Corrosion in some locations was also so bad that parts of some beams had withered away entirely. The report, from an inspection in February, also described “wavy deformations” on some bridge supports and “severe cracking” — including some fissures longer than two feet — to some steel girders and beams.

In addition, 170 cracked steel bars were found on the bridge deck, and corrosion holes of up to 1.5 inches in steel grid primary bars, the inspection said.

The condition of multiple supports was marked “severe,” a 3 on a 0-to-9 scale, indicating deterioration, or cracking steel or concrete that made “local failures… possible.”

Brightman street bridge
Advanced deterioration throughout the length of a sidewalk stringer on the Brightman Street Bridge.

The DOT said in a statement that safety remains its highest priority.

“Mass DOT carefully monitors and inspects all bridges on a routine basis,” spokesman Michael Verseckes said. “Through a combination of strategic repairs and the reduction in the weight limit, we have taken the necessary steps to ensure the Brightman Street Bridge is safe for travel for ordinary motor vehicles as well as ambulances. We look forward to the opening of the new Veterans Memorial Bridge in the near future.”

The inspection focused on five parts of the bridge — the deck and various support beams and girders — that had also previously been noted as being in “severe” condition. The only worse conditions on the rating guide are “critical,” in which the bridge may need to be closed until repairs are made, “imminent failure,” in which the bridge is closed but could be repaired, and “failed,” when a bridge is beyond repair.

Photos included in the report show cracks to the steel bars in the middle of the bridge span, major deterioration to support beams below the sidewalk, cracked welds, and corrosion in numerous other areas.

A cover sheet to the inspection report dated May 24 suggested the weight limit for vehicles be lowered from 9 tons to 3 until the recommended repairs were made or until the bridge was taken out of service. The weight limit was reduced about a month later.

Since then, despite police presence leading to the bridge, vehicles that well exceed the limit have been seen passing over the bridge anyway, including an 18-wheeler soon after the limit was changed. Ambulances, which can weigh up to 9 tons, were allowed an exception as long as they’re driven in the middle of the two travel lanes. One beam below the bridge deck, called a stringer beam, was repaired last weekend.

The Veterans Memorial Bridge is planned to open in August or September, but no specific dates have been given.

SOURCE: http://www.heraldnews.com/archive/x1009566775/Brightman-Street-Bridge-inspection-revealed-severe-deficiencies#ixzz1Spm8Dl37

Memorial Bridge coatings job to cost $12 million

AUGUSTA – Memorial Bridge is due for a pricey paint job, perhaps as early as this fall. Painting the nearly 2,100-foot-long, 48-foot-wide bridge is expected to cost about $12 million.

By comparison, the bridge was built in 1949 at a cost of $1.2 million.

Officials attribute the high cost of repainting to the bridge’s size and the presence of lead paint on it, which will have to be contained so it doesn’t end up in the river or elsewhere in the environment.

“It’s a big bridge, which is one of the reasons for the cost,” said Mark Latti, spokesman for the state Department of Transportation. “And there is lead paint on the bridge, and because of that, it has to be done in an enclosed area. So they’ll blast the paint off in a contained area, catch the paint, and then it needs to be disposed of. All those things, and the sheer size of the bridge, add up to that $12 million area.”

He said the old paint probably would have to be contained to some degree even if it was not lead-based, because it still couldn’t be allowed to just fall into the river below.

Memorial Bridge was repainted last in 1992. Latti said bridges, depending on the environment they are in, generally need painting every 15 to 20 years.

He said while Memorial Bridge is safe for motorists and pedestrians, the bridge’s paint has flaked off in some areas and shows corrosion in others.

“It’s time for a paint job,” Latti said. “This is preventative maintenance, designed to extend the life of the bridge.”

Latti said the project is funded and the work will be advertised for contractors in the fall. Depending on the contractor, the work could take place in late fall, over the winter, or not until warmer weather arrives next spring.

Latti said the such projects typically are funded by a combination of 20 percent state and 80 percent federal funds.

Depending on the size of the project’s crew, it could take between six months and a year to complete. Latti said the DOT has allotted up to two years to paint the bridge.

Not taking action ultimately could be even more expensive. Latti said it would cost about $60 million to replace the entire bridge.

He does not anticipate the bridge will need to be closed to be painted. About 26,000 vehicles a day use the bridge.

“We believe the paint contractor is going to be able to do all the work without lane closures,” Latti said.

In 2006, the concrete deck and some other infrastructure of the bridge, was replaced, at a cost of $11 million.

Latti said the paint job couldn’t take place at the same time as that project out of concern that materials from the redecking project could fall and strike painters if they were working below.

Opened in 1949, two-lane Memorial Bridge is the city’s main artery across the Kennebec River. The bridge stands between traffic circles on the east side and west side of the river.

For the first 18 years after it was built, all motorists stopped and paid a dime or a toll ticket at a toll booth for the privilege of crossing the 2,092-foot span high above the Kennebec River.

It was expected to last 50 years when it was built, a milestone passed in 1999.

It underwent a thorough inspection as part of the 2006 deck project, and another special inspection in 2007, because it is one of six deck-truss bridges in Maine of a design similar to one that collapsed in Minneapolis in 2007.

Latti said the bridge’s structure has been rated satisfactory or above in subsequent inspections.

By comparison, the Sagadahoc Bridge between Bath and Woolwich is 2,972 feet, the Penobscot Narrows Bridge in Prospect is 2,120 feet, and the Pearl Harbor Remembrance Bridge between Gardiner and Randolph is 998 feet.

SOURCE: http://www.kjonline.com/news/memorial-bridge-paint-job-to-cost-_12-million_2011-06-30.html

Iowa bridges third-worst in the nation

At first glance, the two-lane bridge over Wapsinonoc Creek seems up-to-date. But a closer inspection reveals rusted bolts, graffiti, and crooked beams. More than 4,000 cars travel across it each day, and it has not been renovated since 1956.

The bridge, located in Muscatine County, is one of 5,000 bridges in Iowa classified as structurally deficient, giving Iowa the third-worst bridge conditions in the nation, according to a recently released report.

Although the report said bridges all over America are in a sad state of repair and getting worse, Iowa’s bridge problem stands out by several measures.

More than 40 percent of Iowa’s spans are more than 50 years old, which is the normal design life span of a bridge.

Nearly 22 percent — more than one in every five bridges — are structurally deficient, and that is almost double the national average. For comparison, the states doing the best job of keeping their bridges safe are Nevada, Florida, Texas, Arizona, and Utah, where deficient bridges range from 2.2 percent to 4.5.

The report “The Fix We’re in For: The State of Our Nation’s Bridges,” was released in late March by Transportation for America, a group mainly concerned with maintaining the nation’s current infrastructure, according to spokesman David Goldberg.

The report’s findings put Pennsylvania and Oklahoma as the only states with a higher percentage of structurally deficient bridges than Iowa.

“The nation’s bridges are aging and traffic demands are increasing, even as state and local revenues are shrinking,” the report said. And the problem is likely to keep getting worse, because state-level needs have nearly doubled since 2006.

The report called on the U.S. Congress “to ensure that [federal] funds sent to states for bridge repair are used only for that purpose.”

And it warned states that deferring maintenance of bridges is not only a safety risk but a false savings. “Deferring maintenance of bridges and highways can cost three times as much as preventive repairs,” it said.

On the list of the worst 100 counties, Iowa holds 17 of the spots, more than any other state, with Adams County being the 10th-worst in the country. Almost 47 percent of Adams County’s bridges are structurally deficient. Winnebago, Davis, Lucas, and Plymouth Counties not far behind. The counties with the safest bridges are Clinton and Jackson.

“We try, as money permits, to keep improving them,” said Eldon Rike, the bridge engineer for Adams County.

Out of the 24,722 bridges that motorists use in Iowa, 5,371 of them are considered structurally deficient, according to the study, meaning engineers have rated one of the three bridge components at a 4 or less on a scale from 0 to 9, 9 being the best condition. These numbers then contribute to the overall condition of the bridge, which is on a scale from 0 to 100. This number is called the “sufficiency rating.”

“We’ve known about this for a while,” said Norm McDonald, the director of the Office of Bridges and Structures for the Iowa Department of Transportation. “We use the funding and do the best we can.”

SOURCE: http://www.dailyiowan.com/2011/06/30/Metro/23950.html

Spring River bridge to be replaced due to corrosion

If the deck on the Missouri Highway 96 bridge over the Spring River near Kellogg Lake Park were rated any worse, the bridge would have to be closed.

According to Jerry Davis, a transportation project manager for the Missouri Department of Transportation, the deck of the Highway 96 bridge that crosses Spring River received a rating of three on the department’s nine-point scale for rating bridge decks, superstructure and sub structure, due to a significant corrosion problem.

“A new bridge would be a nine and if the rating falls to two it needs to be closed,” Davis said. “The deck is saturated with salt water from snow removal and it has eaten away at the steel in the deck.”

That’s why MoDOT plans to replace the bridge in the summer of 2012. The project will likely start in May or early June and last between 90 and 120 days. A detour has yet to be determined, Davis said.

Most cars and light trucks can get around the construction by using North Garrison Street and County Route V in Kendricktown, but the nine-ton weight limit on the three bridges on North Garrison Street means tractor trailers will have to take a different route.

Davis said the official detour will be established to carry all traffic around the construction.

Davis said the deck has been patched many times but that doesn’t fix the underlying problem.

Davis and Mike Hobbs, a transportation project designer with MoDOT, set up a map of the area for the public to examine at Tuesday’s meeting, but attendance was light.

City Administrator Tom Short, Chamber President Sabrina Drackert and City Council Member Ed Hardesty came early to learn the specifics of the project and offer comments.

Short showed Hobbs and Davis the Visioning Plan created by the students from Drury University for enhancements to the entrances to Carthage, especially on Missouri 96 where many tourists traveling the historic Route 66 enter and leave town.

The plans call for sweeping structures to enhance the look of the bridges coming into Carthage.

Davis said the department would look at those plans, but the department currently plans to replace that bridge with something similar.

“I don’t see where we can do much about the esthetics,” Davis said. “We’re trying to stretch every dollar we have and to do something like that would add too much cost to the bridge.”

He said the new bridge would look similar to the one that’s there now except it would have concrete girders instead of steel and it would be slightly longer — 505 feet versus the current 490 feet.

Davis said the state plans to replace another bridge on County Route O over Spring River south of Alba at the same time it is replacing the Carthage bridge.

People who could not attend these meetings may go on the Internet to http://www.modot.org/southwest/publicmeetings.htm to express opinions or voice concerns.

SOURCE: http://www.carthagepress.com/news/county/x217706721/Spring-River-bridge-to-be-replaced

Aging U.S. 2 trestle gets needed corrosion repairs

With thousands of vehicle trips daily, U.S. 2 gets needed repairs

EVERETT (WA) — Concrete is falling off in chunks, rebar is rusting and thousands of people drive over the westbound U.S. 2 trestle every day.

While the girders on the trestle’s underbelly have been slowly deteriorating for more than 20 years, state transportation officials say there’s no doubt the bridge is safe for drivers. Repairs are being made this summer and fall.

About 37,000 vehicles per day use the trestle in one direction or the other.

“There’s no problem with people driving on the structure,” said Chad Brown, project engineer for the trestle repair. “The structure is safe.”

Workers are restoring the exposed rebar, replacing the concrete on the girders and sealing them to keep them waterproof. The repairs are expected to preserve the girders on the now 43-year-old span until 2026 or longer. The $8 million project began earlier this month and is expected to be finished in the early fall.

The roadway on the trestle is built atop girders made of concrete and rebar, running lengthwise with the roadway, sitting atop crossbeams that in turn sit on pillars. The eastbound half of the trestle was built with timber in the 1930s and rebuilt in sections in the 1990s, according to the state. The westbound side was built in 1968.

By 1987, crumbling began to show on the concrete beams on the underbelly of the westbound structure, and the bridge was declared “structurally deficient.” The term is a federal designation meaning that a bridge has a part or parts that will eventually need to be repaired, not that it is unsafe, according to the state. Washington currently has 143 bridges in this category, including seven in Snohomish County.

Under the state’s routine inspection program, bridges are examined every two years. Some with more structural issues are put on a yearly schedule, and the trestle has been inspected every year since 2003.

The section currently being repaired was done four years after the other section because of funding issues and environmental regulations involved in working over Deadwater Slough, officials said.

The current repairs are being done in the same manner as in 2007. The bridge at the far west end of the trestle, over the Snohomish River, is newer and won’t be repaired in this cycle.

Engineers are confident the moisture has not further penetrated the beams. So far, the farthest into any beam that weak concrete has been found is a couple of inches.

Traffic on the westbound trestle will be shut down for up to 65 nights through early October for the concrete and carbon-fiber mesh work. These phases have to be done when there’s no traffic on the road so vibrations won’t prevent the concrete from setting properly or keep the mesh from bonding to the concrete, engineers said.

The trestle was closed for three nights on June 9, 14 and 16 while two sections were repaired. It’s possible the work will take less than the 65 nights. The next closure is planned for July 12.

If the girders are not repaired, beams and the rebar would continue to deteriorate, and longer closures would be needed, engineers said.

Nancy Singer, a spokeswoman for the Federal Highway Administration, said federal engineers say the work being done on the trestle appears to be appropriate.

“State departments of transportation are the owners and operators of infrastructure and are in a position to select the best approach to addressing the needs of a bridge,” she said in an email.

“The U.S. Route 2 project that calls for replacing old cracking concrete, removing corrosion from the steel frame, and reinforcing the girders on the underside of the viaduct seems to be based on sound and established approaches to bridge repair and rehabilitation.”

SOURCE: http://www.heraldnet.com/article/20110627/NEWS01/706279969

Gardiner structurally sound, experts say, after chunk smashes onto road

TORONTO: City crews will be examining sections of the Gardiner Expressway after a 4.5-kilogram chunk of concrete fell onto Lake Shore Blvd. W. earlier this week, hitting a guardrail and ricocheting into the road.

The slab, about four centimetres thick and over a meter long, was sloughed off the bottom of the elevated section, its steel reinforcing bars corroded by road salt.

No cars were hit and no one was injured. Two lanes of westbound traffic just east of Bathurst St. were temporarily closed.

The incident is the fourth in recent memory, but does not mean that drivers should steer clear of Lake Shore, city staff said.

“There really shouldn’t be any concern,” said Mike Laidlaw, Toronto’s acting manager of structures and expressways.

Aside from the dangers inherent in a chunk of concrete weighing almost as much as a bowling ball falling from the sky, the expressway itself is sound, experts say.

“The stuff on the outside, most of it could fall off without affecting the structural integrity,” said R. Doug Hooton, a civil engineering professor at the University of Toronto. “(The overpass) is not in danger of falling.”

Laidlaw said the city will be conducting extra inspections around the area. Toronto is also putting out a call for proposals from engineering firms for a complete inspection within two years.

City crews inspect the Gardiner yearly — “sounding” the concrete for unstable pieces and removing them with a hammer — and conduct visual inspections at least every six months.

“If they do see any areas of concern they’ll look after it immediately,” said Laidlaw.

In January 2007, a piece of concrete about the size of a basketball fell onto Lake Shore near York St. and narrowly missed hitting a car. A small piece fell near Spadina Ave. in February 1999 and near York St. in January 1997.

“It is a concern for anybody underneath of it,” said Laidlaw.

Hooton said the Gardiner was designed before Ontario began salting roads in the winter, so it wasn’t constructed to withstand the salt that seeps through the roadway and into the steel reinforcing bar.

The salt rusts the rebar which then expands, cracking the concrete and pushing the outer layer off. Repair work was done years ago to the road’s drainage system to prevent salt from seeping into the concrete.

“It’s not happening as much as it would have if they hadn’t done those repairs,” said Hooton.

Police said no one reported any damage to a vehicle and there were no injures.

By 3 p.m. Monday, city crews had cleared debris off the road and unblocked all westbound lanes on Lake Shore Blvd.

The incident called to mind a horrific accident in Quebec five years ago. Five people were killed when a 40-year-old Laval overpass fell onto a highway on Sept. 30, 2006, crushing several vehicles.

A year later, a commission report into the accident blamed shoddy workmanship, insufficient oversight and deficient maintenance.

SOURCE: http://www.thestar.com/news/transportation/article/1011934–gardiner-structurally-sound-experts-say-after-chunk-smashes-onto-road?bn=1

Engineers use Route 23 bridge in Wayne to study corrosion

WAYNE – An international team of engineers and researchers, each dressed in a yellow vest and hard hat, on Tuesday poked and prodded – so to speak – at a steel string bridge, looking for signs of deterioration & corrosion.

International engineers conduct a study of highway bridge deterioration using a bridge on Route. 23 in Wayne for the test.

As drivers whizzed by without giving thought to the condition of the structure, the engineers were unleashing a variety of high tech tools – ground penetrating radar, ultrasonic equipment and impact echoing technology – to aid them in evaluating the bridge deck that spans Route 23. The bridge carries traffic over Mountainview Boulevard in Wayne.
They are part of the “International Bridge Study,” a project organized by the Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation at Rutgers University in June 2010. It brings together engineers and researchers from Japan, Switzerland, Austria, Korea, the United States and other nations to study the North Jersey bridge, according to Carl Blesch, a spokesman for Rutgers University.

Their purpose is two-fold. They are looking for ways to identify bridge corrosion early so that it can be treated earlier – when the cost is less expensive. They are also looking for ways to treat corrosion that extends the life of infrastructure in their own countries.

“We have no sustainable path forward to manage our infrastructure,” said Franklin Moon, an associate professor of structural engineering at Drexel University, a lead engineer on the project.

“If you want a public infrastructure system, someone has to pay for it. Public infrastructure costs more now than it has to cost,” he said. “We’re spending a lot of money on repairs we might not need to do if we can catch them early.”

Moon said there are 600,000 bridges in the nation and 66,000 in New Jersey. He said he believes agencies are spending more to maintain bridges than they need to because bridge repairs often do not occur until the deterioration has progressed significantly.

He said corrosion expands the rebar in the bridge and when it expands, it pops the concrete, creating a pothole. If the corrosion is detected earlier, it can be treated – with a corrosion inhibitor, for instance – which can prevent it from expanding, he said.

“It’s analogous to finding cancer early so you can deal with it,” he said. “Find cancer late and you’re in trouble … If you let that go to the point that it’s spalling and you’ve got potholes, now you’re out there with a jack hammer and replacing it.”

Moon said the New Jersey Department of Transportation selected the Wayne bridge to study because it is representative of 2,600 other bridges in the state. They all have similar drainage, deck quality and vibration issues, he said.

This bridge, which was built in 1983, handles about 73,100 vehicles a day, said Tim Greeley, spokesman for the state transportation department.

It was last inspected in July 2010, and “is in overall fair condition,” he said.

Greeley said all bridges 20-feet in length or longer are inspected at least every two years.

The teams will meet for a workshop June 14 and 15 to share findings and make recommendations.

SOURCE: http://www.northjersey.com/news/Engineers_use_Route_23_bridge_in_Wayne_to_study_corrosion.html