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N.Y.'s cracked bridges called safe


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N.Y.'s cracked bridges called safe



Thursday, December 27th 2007



Manhattan Bridge


Despite finding cracked beams, deteriorating concrete and missing bolts on 20 of the state's 49 deck truss bridges, a special task force has deemed them all "safe" to traverse.


Results of the study by the state Bridge Task Force found flaws in four key spans in the city, including decaying steel beams and crumbling decks on the Brooklyn Bridge. Task force officials said yesterday all of the defects it found pose no impending peril and are fixable.


"New York State's highway bridges are safe, but our transportation infrastructure is aging and needs greater attention and investment," said Astrid Glynn, commissioner of the state Department of Transportation.


Gov. Spitzer ordered the inspections of the state's deck truss bridges following the August collapse of the Interstate 35 bridge in Minneapolis that killed 13 people. The state has more than 17,000 smaller bridges that were not included in the task force's report.


The task force completed a visual inspection of the bridges Nov. 1, and a second hands-on exam Nov. 30 in which they used special equipment to detect cracks and decay. The report cited only one "red flag," meaning prompt repair was needed to a crack found in a key tie-down at one end of the Route 9W Bridge in Highland in Orange County. Inspectors also replaced three missing bolts on the bridge.


Eighteen bridges, including Brooklyn, Manhattan and the Kosciuszko bridges received "yellow flags" for problems that could become critical flaws if not addressed. The Brooklyn Bridge's two yellow flags were for decaying steel beams. Inspectors also found deteriorating concrete under the bridge's deck and a rip in the net that catches debris.


City Councilman John Liu, chair of the city Transportation Committee, expressed confidence in the thoroughness of the inspections, but stressed that constant vigilance is needed.


"There's no reason to scream fire, but there's no room for complacency either," Liu, a Queens pol, said. "Every bridge is considered 'safe' until it falls and kills people."


New York Bridges


Manhattan Bridge


  • Decaying steel parts of one of the trusses

Kosciuszko Bridge


  • Corroding and decaying steel beams
  • Cracked beams and welds
  • Loose decorative panels on the side of the bridge
  • Loose concrete
  • Exposed electrical wires


Brooklyn Bridge


  • Decay of steel beams
  • Deteriorating concrete underneath the deck
  • Hole in the walkway used by maintenance crews
  • Hole in netting to catch debris falling off bridge

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It's comforting to know that the bridge that I cross two times a day, with the decaying steel parts on one of its trusses, is safe to ride across on a heavy almost fully loaded subway train.:eek:


Carry Red Bull with you at all times. The bridge gives way, you drink and fly away. The others will have the look of :eek:, as they see you grow wings and fly away.

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Man they really need to renovate and upgrade these bridges or else we will have another incident like the Minneapolis bridge incident. But something tells me NYC will delay for a long time in improvements.


They're going to delay in improvements because they haven't got their priorities straight. Bridges are falling apart, and the MTA is spending its money on new uniforms for its employees.

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