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#414254 - 08/19/11 10:38 PM The bridge
PROBUS Offline
Has anyone else noticed how parlous is the state of repair of the bridge? It is now definitely in a dangerous state, and would not be allowed to remain open in Britain or probably also in the States. It desperately needs repair. Presumably a lot of money has been collected in tolls since it was fully paid off, so perhaps this can be used to pay for repairs. We have it on good authority from the Mayor that financial propriety is sound here, so I'm sure that money must be sitting waiting somewhere.

#414275 - 08/20/11 09:08 AM Re: The bridge [Re: PROBUS]
sunandsand Offline
The bridge wasn't designed to hold all of the trucks and cars that use it now. It was made for golf carts, bikes and pedestrians. Unfortunately, they opened it to the heavier vehicles and now have to pay the piper! It will be interesting to see if they actually repair it, or shut it down. I would love to see the pull ferry come back!!! When I was there in December it was bad. I can only imagine how awful it is now!
At what age is it determined I am old enough to know better?

#414289 - 08/20/11 09:44 AM Re: The bridge [Re: sunandsand]
bywarren Offline
It appears to me the largest problem lies with the corrosion due to lack of maintenance. That is not caused by the type of vehicles using it. Of course the weakening of the structure due to corrosion would be cause for the bridge to be unsafe for larger vehicles. I don't pretend to know the initial design criteria for the bridge, but would guess Barry Bowen when he advanced the money for the bridge did so with the idea it would support vehicles like his delivery trucks. Just my guess. wink

#414296 - 08/20/11 09:55 AM Re: The bridge [Re: PROBUS]
Diane Campbell Offline
With reference to the comment about wishing the return of the ferry ........

I too have fond memories of the pull-ferry, but it just could not handle the traffic by the time the bridge came in. Too many people needed to cross the cut daily and the ferry was not able to handle the load. Pushing and shoving and dangerous overloading were becoming common, and of course there was no way to use it when weather was rough.
Keep the memories and enjoy them, but there is no safe or sane way to revive the past on this particular item.

#414311 - 08/20/11 11:25 AM Re: The bridge [Re: Diane Campbell]
Ernie B Offline
Speaking of the pull ferry, GOLF CARTS WILL NOT FLOAT !
Gun Control is Hitting Your Target.

#414315 - 08/20/11 11:33 AM Re: The bridge [Re: PROBUS]
PalapaBob Offline
Speaking from experience?
I've already told you more than I know.

#414319 - 08/20/11 11:59 AM Re: The bridge [Re: PROBUS]
PROBUS Offline
I took some pictures a few months ago and it is definitely worse in those areas now. Corrosion (which does indeed seem to be the main problem) is now more widespread. The eastern walkway was severely corroded before; now the other one is showing signs of corrosion. But there are two areas of the carriageway (where vehicles go) where it has apparently been necessary to place sheets of plywood to reinforce the metal grid, and that damage I suspect is down to overweight vehicles rather than corrosion, though I'm sure the two factors go together. I'll take some more pictures and post them.

Remember that only the upper surface is visible. The supporting structure is also steel and undoubtedly is also corroding, but that isn't visible without removing panels - such as should happen during routine maintenance.

A month or two ago I stood on the ground alongside the bridge as a fully laden sand truck came over (closely followed by a second). The entire structure visibly bent under the weight, then recovered afterwards. It is for that reason that I fear a catastrophic collapse.

#414346 - 08/20/11 02:15 PM Re: The bridge [Re: PROBUS]
ScubaLdy Offline
Yesterday a very large truck LOADED with bags of cement was ahead of me when I got to the bridge. Considering that each bag weighed 100 pounds and there were a lot of them, I chose not to approach the brige until the cement truck was completely across. Of course there was a golf cart in a hurry that passed me and got right up behind the cement truck. I have no desire to go down with the bridge.

Who remembers when the Hammock house used to have a board where you could buy a date when the next golf cart would go in the water? Remember how we had to rev to get up the plywood at high tide? Once, after many failed attempts everyone was yelling at me to floor it! I did and crashed into the golf cart already on. Only because 3 big guys were standing beside it were they able to catch it before the back wheels went off. What a picture that would have made with the front end hanging over the water.
Take only pictures leave only bubbles

#414349 - 08/20/11 02:35 PM Re: The bridge [Re: ScubaLdy]
SnoopysMom Offline
Just hope and pray no one gets hurt when (not if) the bridge goes down...

#414381 - 08/20/11 08:00 PM Re: The bridge [Re: PROBUS]
PROBUS Offline
I had a closer look this afternoon. The underlying structure of the bridge looks sound, though of course it needs a proper survey. The decking however is in dreadful shape - not only are there two sheets of plywood covering what presumably are distorted grid panels in the vehicle area (a sure indication that the bridge is being used by vehicles far heavier than it was designed to carry) but so have three panels on the badly corroded eastern footway been replaced by plywood. I wonder who by?

There is a general air of corrosion on all surfaces of the decking, including all parts of the grid that bears vehicles and the western footway. I would say all panels of the eastern footway need to be replaced immediately, as do several of the grid panels that support vehicles. The rest of the bridge should be cleaned, rust-proofed and painted, and then the structure should be closely inspected say every three months. I am absolutely CERTAIN enough money has been collected to cover all of this this work, though I am equally sure that that money has been spirited away.

I wonder whether the Mayor counts the bridge as another of her "resounding successes"?

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