Can we afford antique bridges?

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    Can we afford antique bridges?

    A revealing picture of the Highway Department was recently published in Worcester and other local news but not in the Globe. [ Beverly Ford, Delays take a bite out of taxpayers' wallets, Worcester Telegram and Sun, August 14, 2011, at www.telegram.com/article/20110814/NEWS/108149846/1116 ]

    Its prime example of waste was the Fore River Bridge on Route 3A, between Quincy and Weymouth. A 4-lane bridge built in 1936 was demolished and replaced by a temporary bridge in 2004, for $88 million. New construction is scheduled for next year, estimated at nearly $300 million--probably over $1,000 per lane-foot per year of life.

    The reason the cost is so high is that the state will build a lift bridge with 250 feet of clearance. A nearby shipyard, which once needed the clearance, has been defunct since 1986 and is now storage for used cars. The project is an example of foolish priorities, rebuilding an antique that no longer serves a practical purpose.

    The Highway Department continues to maintain a huge inventory of antique bridges, 218 in all. [ listed at http://www.mhd.state.ma.us/default.asp?pgid=content/environ/brhist&sid=about ] A few were sturdily built and remain cost-effective, but most are far beyond their practical service lives.

    Here are current repair projects for antique bridges. They are old-fashioned, steel-frame bridges. About every 20 years, these bridges have been under repair for two years or more:

    Project 605506, Boston/Cambridge, Route 2 (B.U. Bridge)
    4 lanes, 725 ft, 1928, arch-suspended, 20 year intervals
    $339 per lane-foot per year, 2-1/2 years repair, rebuilt-in-place

    Project 82611, Holyoke/Chicopee, Route 116 (Willimansett Bridge)
    4 lanes, 797 ft, 1891, lenticular thru-truss, 20 year intervals
    $334 per lane-foot per year, 3 years repair, rebuilt-in-place

    By comparison, here are current repair projects for modern bridges:

    Project 604007, Wellesley, Cedar Street over Route 9
    4 lanes, 79 ft, 1932, multi-beam, 80 year interval
    $162 per lane-foot per year, 1/2 year repair, prefabricated

    Project 606255, Medford, 14 bridges along I-93
    4 lanes, 2671 ft, 1961, multi-beam, 50 year interval
    $183 per lane-foot per year, 1/2 year repair, prefabricated

    Because of modern construction, these bridges can be repaired with prefabricated spans. Based on their service histories, the repairs will last much longer, the bridges are out-of-service only a few days, and continuing maintenance costs are about half as much as for antique, steel-frame bridges.

     
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    Re: Can we afford antique bridges?

    But, spending millions, nay, billions of dollars on things we don't need will create JOBS, JOBS, JOBS!!!  Wink
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from topaz978. Show topaz978's posts

    Re: Can we afford antique bridges?

    In Response to Can we afford antique bridges?:
    [QUOTE]A revealing picture of the Highway Department was recently published in Worcester and other local news but not in the Globe. [ Beverly Ford, Delays take a bite out of taxpayers' wallets, Worcester Telegram and Sun, August 14, 2011, at www.telegram.com/article/20110814/NEWS/108149846/1116 ] Its prime example of waste was the Fore River Bridge on Route 3A, between Quincy and Weymouth. A 4-lane bridge built in 1936 was demolished and replaced by a temporary bridge in 2004, for $88 million. New construction is scheduled for next year, estimated at nearly $300 million--probably over $1,000 per lane-foot per year of life. The reason the cost is so high is that the state will build a lift bridge with 250 feet of clearance. A nearby shipyard, which once needed the clearance, has been defunct since 1986 and is now storage for used cars. The project is an example of foolish priorities, rebuilding an antique that no longer serves a practical purpose. The Highway Department continues to maintain a huge inventory of antique bridges, 218 in all. [ listed at http://www.mhd.state.ma.us/default.asp?pgid=content/environ/brhist&sid=about ] A few were sturdily built and remain cost-effective, but most are far beyond their practical service lives. Here are current repair projects for antique bridges. They are old-fashioned, steel-frame bridges. About every 20 years, these bridges have been under repair for two years or more: Project 605506, Boston/Cambridge, Route 2 (B.U. Bridge) 4 lanes, 725 ft, 1928, arch-suspended, 20 year intervals $339 per lane-foot per year, 2-1/2 years repair, rebuilt-in-place Project 82611, Holyoke/Chicopee, Route 116 (Willimansett Bridge) 4 lanes, 797 ft, 1891, lenticular thru-truss, 20 year intervals $334 per lane-foot per year, 3 years repair, rebuilt-in-place By comparison, here are current repair projects for modern bridges: Project 604007, Wellesley, Cedar Street over Route 9 4 lanes, 79 ft, 1932, multi-beam, 80 year interval $162 per lane-foot per year, 1/2 year repair, prefabricated Project 606255, Medford, 14 bridges along I-93 4 lanes, 2671 ft, 1961, multi-beam, 50 year interval $183 per lane-foot per year, 1/2 year repair, prefabricated Because of modern construction, these bridges can be repaired with prefabricated spans. Based on their service histories, the repairs will last much longer, the bridges are out-of-service only a few days, and continuing maintenance costs are about half as much as for antique, steel-frame bridges.
    Posted by AppDev[/QUOTE]

    The repair time on any span depends on the footing. None of the stated spans will retain the footing or be out of service for a few days. Most projects clearly state they are 1/2 year projects. Just taking out the old is a month at least. The just a few days is over the top. Minimum full closure 4 months. The short span projects are cheap because you do not have to build them on site. The long spans are long because of the spacing of footings. Those are to big to be prefab. You can make those prefab. But you gotta drain the river. cut the new footing, pour and cure it. Thats why they take more time and cost more. But you may not be able to cross rivers like you do streams . Thats why they call it engineering, not accounting.
     
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    Most modern bridges can be maintained economically

    Reader "topaz978" [8/16/2011 11:13 PM EDT] is unduly pessimistic about the time and cost of major bridge repairs and, in particular, does not seem to have been following the I-93 project in Medford. After some smaller accelerated bridge replacement projects, this summer the Highway Department has been replacing 14 4-lane bridges, including two crossing the Mystic River, with prefabricated segments of up to about 80 ft.

    Each I-93 bridge has been out-of-service less than 2-1/2 days, all on weekends. Using older technology and rebuilding the bridges in place, the project was estimated to take four to five years. The state is typically overrating lifetimes of replacement spans, at 75 years, but contracting firms are estimating 50 years, like lifetimes of the original spans.

    The project cost has increased from last year's estimate of $69 million to a current contract value of $98 million. However, with a 50-year service life that amounts to a fairly reasonable $183 per lane-foot per year, and the public bears only small burdens of lost income and increased expenses because of the rapid pace.

    Accelerated bridge replacement was pioneered by Utah in the U.S., which since 2003 has replaced spans of up to about 180 feet. Unlike the I-93 span segments, prefabricated in New Jersey, longer spans cannot be transported on highways. They are prebuilt adjacent to bridges being repaired.

    Today's accelerated bridge replacements work mainly with the spans of multi-beam bridges, built since the late 1920s and common since the late 1940s. When piers have deteriorated, they must be rebuilt before spans can be replaced. This year's I-93 overpass bridge piers were all in sound shape, although some I-93 underpass bridge piers in Medford had to be rebuilt several years earlier.

    Antique, steel-frame bridges cannot be maintained with today's accelerated bridge replacement techniques. Their overhauls continue to take at least a few years, and their maintenance costs per lane-foot per year are much higher. When those antique bridges need major overhauls, the state should be replacing most of them with more reliable and maintainable designs.

     
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    Re: Can we afford antique bridges?

    The issue is not all of the spans are easy as your claims. Removing truss for span is easier than 50 years ago but it is not necessarily cheap as you claim. The claim of 2.5 days is not credible for the difficult cases. The Champlain bridge which is not huge and requires not a tall clearance is still behind schedule after 1 year out of service.
     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from AppDev. Show AppDev's posts

    An antique bridge that became too costly to maintain

    Reader "topaz978" [8/17/2011 8:53 PM EDT] is concerned about the Crown Point Bridge, connecting New York route 185 with Vermont route 17 at Chimney Point, one of only two bridges crossing Lake Champlain. Closed in October, 2009, it was an antique bridge, built in 1928-1929, that had become very expensive to maintain.

    Although only a 2-lane structure, it was about 2200 feet long, with spans of about 160 feet. When it was built, a steel truss design was the economic choice. Although Bethlehem Steel was producing wide flange beams up to 60 feet long, using them in a multi-beam design for the bridge would have taken at least 36 instead of 14 piers.

    The Crown Point Bridge was built with a continuous truss--a deck truss except for one arch span. Such a design leaves the entire structure at risk from a single point of failure, cannot be maintained by replacing a single span and subjects truss elements below the roadway to corrosion from winter ice-melting salts.

    The Crown Point Bridge had already been overhauled once, in 1991. As is usual with antique bridges, expensive repairs did not last long. In 2009, New York and Vermont faced another, even more costly repair, because of the antique design, and decided to demolish and replace the bridge.

    The replacement, being built by Flatiron, is a multi-beam design except for a center arch span, built with long box girders that could not even have been designed reliably in the 1920s and with precast deck segments. Unlike the old Crown Point Bridge, each new span is potentially replaceable, including the arch.

    This particular bridge is a good example that contrasts antique bridges, which often become very costly to maintain, with modern bridges designed to be maintained economically. [ HNTB Design Report, February, 2010, at
    https://www.nysdot.gov/regional-offices/region1/projects/lake-champlain-bridge/repository/Appendix_E.pdf ]

     
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    Re: Can we afford antique bridges?

    Everyone should be driving duckboats. 
     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from topaz978. Show topaz978's posts

    Re: Can we afford antique bridges?

    Appdev,
    You do not understand the champlain bridge? You cannot lump bridges in to a catagory like broccoli. Each span has its issues.
     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from AppDev. Show AppDev's posts

    Harvard Bridge, an antique rescued at moderate cost

    The Harvard Bridge, carrying 30,000 vehicles/day on MA Route 2A across the Charles River between Cambridge and Boston, is a 2,160 foot, 4-lane structure designed in 1887 for two lanes of streetcars and two lanes of vehicle traffic. Adjacent to MIT today, the Harvard Bridge opened in 1891, while MIT was still on Newbury Street in Boston; its current, handsome location in Cambridge was then a garbage dump. Two bicycle lanes were installed in 1898, the first for any major bridge in the state.

    The Harvard Bridge originally had a 150-foot center drawbridge section ("swing span"). After the Longfellow Bridge opened downstream in 1907 without a swing span, as authorized by an act of Congress, when the Harvard Bridge received its first overhaul between 1924 and 1928 the swing span was replaced, leaving an average span length of about 86 feet. Further projects between 1930 and 1962 added overpasses at the ends for Storrow Drive and Memorial Drive, removed the streetcar tracks and replaced the roadway deck and sidewalks.

    Between 1984 and 1990, a major overhaul was designed and carried out. At an age nearing 100 years, the bridge was a candidate for demolition and replacement. However, the stone piers proved to be sound, and the bridge had a nearly modern, multi-beam design, although using iron girders rather than structural steel. The four original girders of each span were replaced by six new, steel girders, and the roadway deck, sidewalks and accessories were rebuilt, at a total cost of $16.3 million, equivalent to about $28 million now.

    Today the bridge looks much as it did in the late 1920s, after MIT had moved to Cambridge, except that it no longer carries streetcars. It is now structurally sounder than the original. Further overhauls are possible at moderate cost. On the basis of a 50-year service life, the 1990 overhaul, adjusted to current values, cost a very moderate $65 per lane-foot per year of service life.

    The service cost index for the 1990 Harvard Bridge overhaul (per foot, per year of service life, per thousand vehicles/day) is $8.6, in range of efficient overhauls for modern, Interstate-highway bridges. That is strong testimony to notably foresighted engineering and sound construction, among low-rise bridges of the 1800s.

     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from topaz978. Show topaz978's posts

    Re: Can we afford antique bridges?

    Thats one bridge. I look at short span bridges along rt 2. All could be easily replaced if the foot ing were not in such bad shape. I see a lot of rotted spalled concrete. Four bridges in this area have capture fabric and wooden catchments on the lower edge of the span truss. They all have multiple wooden support stacks holding them up due to completely spalling footings and supports. Been that way for years. Slowly these footings are being replaced. As I said you assumption is completely qualified on one term. Sound footings. There are a lot of bad footings and you cannot generlize. Each span is its own issue. Case by case, not broad statements about which way is better. How incredibly short the replacement can be and Bean counting of numbers that are not uniformly relevant. Vehicle crossing per day per foot is useless when the road is an economic connector for trade rather than a commute route. Lane foot is also useless when you have to rebuild the footings as you cannot compare cost between structures that did not need basic support reconfiguration and repair to ones that do.
     
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    Re: Can we afford antique bridges?

    In Response to Can we afford antique bridges?:
    [QUOTE] Its prime example of waste was the Fore River Bridge on Route 3A, between Quincy and Weymouth. A 4-lane bridge built in 1936 was demolished and replaced by a temporary bridge in 2004, for $88 million. New construction is scheduled for next year, estimated at nearly $300 million--probably over $1,000 per lane-foot per year of life. The reason the cost is so high is that the state will build a lift bridge with 250 feet of clearance.

    A nearby shipyard, which once needed the clearance, has been defunct since 1986 and is now storage for used cars. The project is an example of foolish priorities, rebuilding an antique that no longer serves a practical purpose. Posted by AppDev[/QUOTE]

    I'm not sure where this info was collected but is a bit misleading.   The "250 feet of clearance" will lead many think think that is vertical clearance. It isn't.  It's a 250 foot horizontal span. (i.e. wide, not high...).  That requirement came from the U.S. Coast Guard. 

    Why did the Coast Guard require that?  Well because the former shipyard wasn't the only facility using the drawbridge as this piece implies.  While the shipyard is now used for cars (one of Quirk's many facilities...), Citgo still has an oil/gas off-loading and storage facility that requires oil tankers travel under the bridge to unload.  There is also a LP Gas/Biofuels facility that brings tankers up the river.  Quincy Bay Terminal is also down there although I don't know how much need they have for a drawbridge.  The Coast Guard required the 250 span so those Panamax class tankers could travel up-river safely.  Being that the Fore River Shipyard area is a designated port area, it would seem that the State as well as the towns of Quincy and Weymouth have future plans for developing that area further. Desiging the 250 foot span clearance into the current desgin seems pretty "practical" to me. Not doing it would limit any future development or require another replacement of the bridge.

    Are those purposes worth the cost?  It seems like a huge taxpayer gave-away to a very limited number of users to me but...
     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from massmoderateJoe. Show massmoderateJoe's posts

    Re: Can we afford antique bridges?

    The river was there before the highway.  River traffic has the right of way except when the USCG has made some administrative adjustments to end on demand openings for pelasure craft and switch to scheduled openings typically everyt hour if boat traffic is waiting.

    Commercial navigation rights are preserved just like RR right of way even when there are no current facilities using it.  Abandonance precedures can take decades.
     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from Subtleyetloud. Show Subtleyetloud's posts

    Re: Can we afford antique bridges?

    I'm wondering if the poster would prefer it if the bridges simply fell down?
    because if they are not replaced or fixed, they will fall down. 
    the poster could be on the "useless" bridge driving somewhere, walking somwhere, taking a train, and the bridge could fall down. Not spending the money it takes to repair and replace thses bridges means that they can collapse. what will you do then? You may not use the bridges that you have deemed useless, but some one dose. someone needs that bridge to be safe and operable and not fall down. 
    You think there is too much govenment spending on everything dont you? What about when they plow your roads in the winter? do they spend too much then? You hate it when you're held up in traffic because they're reaping the road, but you swear even more when you bust an axil on a pot hole. 
    No money has to be spent on any of it, but then, how will you get to where your life needs you to go? 
     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from AppDev. Show AppDev's posts

    Braga Bridge, a young antique

    The Braga Bridge, carrying 80,000 vehicles/day on I-195 across the Taunton River between Fall River and Somerset, is a growing burden for Massachusetts bridge maintenance. The 5,800 foot, 6-lane bridge opened in 1966. Structurally, the Braga Bridge is an antique, mainly built with technology that could have been deployed 30 to 60 years earlier.

    Like the I-35W bridge in Minneapolis that collapsed in August, 2007, killing 13 motorists, the Braga Bridge uses continuous steel truss to support its three major spans, the longest of which is 840 feet. Smaller spans ranging from 145 to 200 feet were built with riveted plate girders. The 1897 design for the Quebec Bridge and 1920s designs for the Pulaski Skyway near Jersey City, NJ, and Outerbridge Crossing on Staten Island, NY, had used similar continuous thru-truss.

    Those were considered practical technologies through the 1960s. Reliable box-beam designs, like the I-35W replacement bridge, were not possible in the early 1960s, before computerized analysis. Concrete cable-stayed bridges had not yet been built in the United States. Monolithic steel I-beams were limited to about 120 feet. For more than about 200-foot spans, steel truss was the main alternative, from the early 1890s through the early 1960s, to more expensive suspension designs.

    However, a continuous truss design incurs a risk of collapse from a single point of failure, as happened in Minneapolis and while building the Quebec Bridge. Maintenance of such a bridge becomes costly with age. The Tappan Zee Bridge near Tarrytown, NY, which has similar thru-truss major spans but overall is almost three times as long as the Braga, opened 11 years earlier. It is now undergoing an estimated $240 million in repairs to extend its life by 15 years, about $138 per lane-foot per year.

    The Braga Bridge required repair 25 years after it opened. It needed a second, $10.4 million repair that began 12 years later and is still not finished, after nine years. A third, $12.6 million repair started in 2010 and has at least two more years to go. Those repairs do not address gradual weakening of the main structures, likely to need expensive overhauls after several more years.

    When the Braga Bridge reaches inevitable needs for major overhauls, the state should consider replacing its three major spans with more reliable and maintainable structures. Fortunately, the relatively young age of the bridge would not attract much attention from antiquarians, who often clamor to embalm older bridges, regardless of their integrity or soundness, using other people's money.

     
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    Tobin Bridge, an antique in middle-age

    The Tobin Bridge, carrying 65,000 vehicles/day on U.S. Route 1 across the Mystic River between Charlestown and Chelsea, is the state's largest antique bridge and the longest bridge in New England. Design began in 1946, and construction ended in 1950. Despite success of the Sumner Tunnel, opened in 1934, no consideration was given to a tunnel. The design and physical setting are challenges for maintenance and replacement.

    Like the Braga Bridge between Fall River and Somerset, the Tobin Bridge has three major spans supported by a continuous steel truss, the longest of them 800 feet, plus a separate, 440-foot truss span over the Mystic Channel in Charlestown. Also like the Braga, smaller, viaduct spans averaging about 100 feet were built with riveted plate girders rather than monolithic I-beams. Unlike the Braga Bridge, the six lanes of the Tobin Bridge are stacked on two levels. At 11,900 feet, the Tobin is more than twice as long as the Braga.

    The Tobin began to need repairs 15 years after it opened, and since a truck collision in 1973 it has been under repeated partial overhaul. Buffeting by winds, especially in winter, adds to pounding from heavy traffic and corrosion from winter ice-melting salts and harbor salt spray, requiring frequent repairs. As soon as a job finishes, it is often time to start over. Nevertheless, some latticework high above the Mystic River was never repainted until a $38 million job starting this year, encouraging salt spray corrosion.

    Tobin Bridge maintenance is growing to around $25 million a year, about $175 per lane-foot per year, yet, on average, maintenance has been achieving only mediocre operating status. Over the next several years, costs are likely to go higher, as parts of truss and viaduct structures need restoration.

    In the aftermath of financial turmoil from the Central Artery Project, the state is unlikely to consider another tunnel. It has yet to consider a more reliable and maintainable bridge. In 2008, a $1 million project took a few steps toward measuring and analyzing failure modes for smaller and simpler parts of the Tobin Bridge, but now that work has apparently stalled.

    Antiquarians can have field days with much of the Tobin Bridge, and engineers can't readily counter. Like expressways built in New York City from the late 1930s through the early 1960s, a marginally maintainable bridge was squeezed through cramped spaces and boxed in from both sides, then from below.

     
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    Re: Can we afford antique bridges?

    "Antiquarians can have field days with much of the Tobin Bridge, and engineers can't readily counter. Like expressways built in New York City from the late 1930s through the early 1960s, a marginally maintainable bridge was squeezed through cramped spaces and boxed in from both sides, then from below."
    posted by appdev

    Check your geography. Those areas were wide open. Not cramped. Land was cheap. Demolition cheaper. You should check the history books once in awhile Bean Counter. Were there structures. Some, but in the 1930's they were dead. Emminent domain was pretty cheap in those days. As to having stuff below. So what, the approach had to be elevated for the crossing anyway silly child. That was the tech to make long island a major industrial center for 50 years. So what. You can't do the math? Creation of an industrial center connected to the deep port of new york by a bridge? Then run the dollar value of trade per span per lane foot per year? You must be slacking.
     
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    Whittier Bridge, a middle-aged antique being scrapped

    The Whittier Bridge, carrying 75,000 vehicles/day on Interstate 95 across the Merrimac River between Amesbury and Newburyport, opened in 1951. It is said to be modeled after the 1935 Sagamore and Bourne bridges across the Cape Cod Canal, built and maintained by the Army Corps of Engineers. In terms of length and height it is half their scale, with a 308-foot main span providing a 56-foot maximum clearance over the river, but it carries six instead of four lanes of traffic. Like them, it is supported by continuous truss: an arch truss main span that is flanked by four spans of corroded deck truss.

    Like the Tobin Bridge, the Whittier Bridge is considered "structurally deficient." A consulting report found it a "nonredundant structure" at the end of its "economic life." Unlike the Tobin, one year older, to which the same terms readily apply, the Whittier somehow became an active candidate for replacement. Just how that happened is obscure, but the Whitier shows what can happen when an antique bridge is about to be scrapped.

    Interstate 95 began in the 1940s Highway Department as run by former czar William F. Callahan, Sr. The 1948 Master Highway Plan called for a Northeast Expressway, running from the New Hampshire border near the coast and smashing through Boston, Somerville and Cambridge on a Central Artery, now replaced by the O'Neill Tunnel, and an Inner Belt Highway, never built. In 1949, the state started work on a highway connecting to the four-lane New Hampshire Turnpike southward from Salisbury, using its own funds, and finished 21 miles into Danvers by 1954. Despite the 1956 Interstate highway funding, that is about where the Northeast Expressway stopped.

    By 1966, highway wizards found the 1948 plan was wrong: an eight-lane highway was needed. However, new highways inside MA Route 128 were halted by former Gov. Sargent in 1971. The Northeast Expressway was widened to a mostly six-lane Interstate 95 and by 1975 was connected in Peabody to MA Route 128, then mostly six-lanes, which was designated as its I-95 continuation, going around Boston rather than into it. Eight lanes is still a goal for I-95 north of Peabody but is implemented only in some Amesbury and Newburyport segments. However, when an I-95 bridge like the Whittier is to be replaced, the Highway Department wants eight lanes. There is also a plan for widening I-95 near the Whittier from six to eight lanes.

    Unlike the 1940s, when the Whittier was designed, such projects must now have an environmental review. Since the Whittier is a bridge over a river, there are wetlands and wildlife habitats to be considered. The Audubon Society is concerned about eagles and sturgeon, endangered species. Sand has accumulated under the bridge, so effects on river flow need study. Watersheds for municipal supplies, hiking trails and nearby parkland must be protected. Bicycle clubs want bike lanes. There is even a small effort to consider a 1951 bridge as "historic."

    Project 601096, replacing the 1350-foot Whittier Bridge, is currently estimated at $285 million, That amount also includes adjacent roadway widening for about two miles, reconstruction of the Route 110 interchange and overpass bridges in Amesbury, and replacement of a bridge over Main Street in Amesbury, two railroad overpass bridges in Amesbury and the Ferry Road flyover bridge in Newburyport.

    If Whittier Bridge replacement alone costs $160 million and achieves 75-year life expectancy, it will amount to about $196 per lane-foot per year. That is more than the state would likely pay over the next few years to maintain the Whittier but less than it might pay after another several years, when major, in-place, in-service restoration would probably be needed.

     
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    Re: Can we afford antique bridges?

    ok so where is the maintinence budjet for the two miles of expanded roadways that feed your wonder. Remember you inflated this cost not me, frankly why did you even mentionit? Plus the maintinance over 75 years of the wonder bridge, budjets like battle plans usually fail once they hit the feild. Plus you do not mention how much reconfigureing the footings will cost. Are they really sound? I know in service repair is expensive but you do not prove that a offsite span can be lifted and placed as you claim. So what. You do not even claim that the disruption is worth your plan in dollars and sense. Bean counter.
     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from TarheelChief. Show TarheelChief's posts

    Re: Can we afford antique bridges?

    You can always afford antique cars,houses,bridges,grandmothers,and cats if you pay their insurance premiums and maintain them carefully.
    But, you will definitely suffer if one suit takes away your insurance and falls upon the broad shoulders of the state or local government.Litigation has the potential to wreck anything and everything. Inusrance is the power to destroy.
     
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    Longfellow Bridge, an antique in senescence

    The Longfellow Bridge, carrying 30,000 vehicles/day on MA Route 3 across the Charles River between Boston and Cambridge, was intended and functions today as a luxury emblem for Boston. It was designed in 1898 and called the Cambridge Bridge, before the Charles River's sewage collector "Basin" was successfully promoted by James J. Storrow, II--not a sanitary engineer. The bridge was renamed for Henry Longfellow as an afterthought, about 30 years later. It replaced an 1854 bridge across mud-flats between Boston's West End and Kendall Square in Cambridge, which had replaced the first West Boston Bridge opened in 1793.

    The Longfellow's pretentious ten granite piers and eleven steel-arch spans, extending for 1,800 feet, were designed to carry trains as well as horse-drawn vehicles and the emerging motor vehicles. The four cigar-stub towers were never anything but decorations. The former Union Railway had begun operating horse-drawn streetcars across the West Boston Bridge in 1856. Its successor, the West End Street Railway, began operating electrically powered streetcars across the former bridge in 1889.

    The Longfellow was always a transit-oriented bridge. In 1896, the newly formed Boston Elevated Railway planned extensions into downtown Boston, Charlestown, South Boston, Roxbury and the waterfront. By 1907, when the Longfellow was fully open, public opinion had forced the Boston-Cambridge operation to become a subway rather than an elevated railway. That subway, now the MBTA Red Line, has operated across the bridge since 1912.

    The misfortune of the Longfellow Bridge was to be a complex structure under custody of the former Metropolitan District Commission, an even worse steward than the Port Authority became of the Tobin Bridge. Unlike the Harvard Bridge, the Longfellow had not been designed to withstand careless management. In 1959, the Longfellow got a first overhaul under the MDC, by then a patronage-ridden agency in decline. The job was botched, failing to address complex features of the bridge, and after several years the Longfellow again fell into disrepair.

    The Longfellow went to an unprepared Department of Conservation and Recreation in 2003. The Highway Department planned an immediate overhaul, at an estimated cost of $125 million. Haggling over design with DCR has added years of delay to a project so far never started. Through 2011, the Highway Department has contracted for about $20 million in emergency repairs, to shore up the bridge against nearly disastrous lack of maintenance under a former, disintegrating MDC and a currrent, quarrelsome DCR.

    Statements appearing in newspapers since 2010 suggest an overhaul lasting from 2012 until at least 2016 and costing as much as $300 million. [ e.g., Eric Moskowitz, Linking cities and eras, Boston Globe, July 25, 2010, at http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2010/07/25/linking_cities_and_eras/ ]


    If that project were to add 50 years of service life and retain six vehicle lanes, the cost would amount to around $550 per lane-foot per year. However, probably the bridge capacity will be cut, and the added service life will be less, like other antique bridges--making the cost per lane-foot per year far more.

    The Longfellow Bridge is an obvious candidate for demolition and replacement. By trying to overhaul rather than replace it, the cost of Longfellow Bridge service could rise even higher than prodigal spending on a new Fore River Bridge between Quincy and Weymouth.

     
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    Re: Can we afford antique bridges?

    Oh so you think the footings are unsound? Fore river is not a valid compairison, thats just crazy talk appdev. What you dont want your magic over nite spans for the longfellow? I'm SHOCKED. It would be a perfect candidate on span size. You said 400 feet not a problem for the modern spans. Where did that idea go? Is each bridge a little different? You do not have a save a 100 mill project in your back pocket for this one? Lane foot is such a lame measure. It says nothing in fact useful. As I have said before You are not useing useful compairisons on you spending for bridges that need footings changed. If you want a solid span the footing must be re done in a sensitive waterway. At least it does not have the harbor issue of the fore river.
     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from AppDev. Show AppDev's posts

    An antique in distress

    A reader suggested that the Longfellow Bridge might be converted to a multibeam bridge. Any noticeable change to this bridge would surely outrage Boston's many antiquarians, but that particular one wouldn't work at all. The current project is a good case study of complications that can arise when trying to overhaul an antique.

    Unlike the soundly designed Harvard Bridge just upriver, which was laid in with coffer-dams, the Longfellow's pier footings are wood pilings of questionable stability, although the state is currently trying to retain them. The piers resting on them are low-rise, to support arches, rather than high-rise, to support girders.

    Because of design oversights, construction mistakes and gross neglect, structural conditions of the bridge are grave. Four of the piers have cracks through all courses of granite blocks extending to the water. The deck has crumbled but has been shored up and patched. Below the deck, all the cross beams, most lengthwise stringers, most riser posts and the upper, outside arch flanges have severe corrosion, with some sections rusted thru. Most ornamental trim has fragmented, both at joints and thru stones, because of the stresses from 1-6 inches irregular settling of the bases.

    The structure is not only badly compromised but has always lacked seismic resistance. A remedy for this basic problem requires a new structural system of pier framing. The state's plans amount to a large part of full demolition and replacement, but they have become far more costly than a straightforward bridge replacement.

    All work is to be performed in-place, in segments, with much rerouting of traffic and subway tracks, plus efforts to refurbish or replace antique elements and to dismantle and rebuild all ornamental trim. If piers or footings have to be replaced, once they can be examined, then costs will rise well above current estimates.

    At the end of an enormously costly project, the state will have, in effect, a new old bridge, reconstructed cosmetically according to 1898 designs but structurally according to modern codes. Resting on an obsolete foundation, its durability will be at risk, and after 20 to 50 years more it may well need another very expensive overhaul.

    The state has removed condition reports from its Web site, hiding its analysis of drastic bridge deterioration. It does supply a 2009 document outlining its stepwise approach to overhaul, gutting the deck and superstructure a segment at a time and rebuilding in place, maintaining appearances of original designs. [ April 30, 2009, at http://web.massdot.net/CharlesRiverBridges/downloads/longfellow/MEPA_Hearing-4-30-09.pdf ]

     
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    Fore River Bridge, antique requirements

    As with Charles River boat traffic in the nineteenth century, Fore River boat traffic near Quincy fell during the twentieth century. So far, however, the state has failed to seek relief on the Fore River, similar to what was obtained on the Charles River over 100 years ago, from requirements to maintain the previous boat access clearances at the Fore River Bridge between Quincy and Weymouth, carrying 30,000 vehicles/day on MA Route 3A across the river.

    The great days of shipbuilding at the Fore River shipyard ended a quarter century ago. In 1883, the Fore River Ship and Engine Building Company began in Braintree. It opened a larger site in Quincy in 1901. About 1,800 ocean-going vessels were built at the yard, from large sailing ships to major Navy vessels to oil and LNG tankers. The final major operator, General Dynamics, closed the yard in 1986, laying off about 4,000 workers.

    There have been attempts to revive shipbuilding. The last, Massachusetts Heavy Industries, closed in 1999 after building a few medium tankers. The yard's equipment was sold and its steel superstructure scrapped. The Goliath crane was dismantled and shipped to Romania in 2009. The site now houses a ferry dock, a ship museum with the USS Salem, built at the yard from 1945 to 1947, a sewage sludge plant, a warehouse and a used-car storage lot. At its peak in 1943, the yard employed over 30,000 people, but now the site hosts fewer than 300 jobs.

    Today the Fore River mainly sees ferries, recreational boats, tugboats, barges and tankers. Instead of an enormously costly lift bridge or giant drawbridge, a low-rise bridge for MA Route 3A, with about 60 feet of vertical clearance, could provide access for ferries, most recreational boats, tugboats and barges, and small tankers. Large tankers and tall sailboats would need to relocate.

    The Highway Department has a narrow mission and has looked only at plans to maintain clearances. Despite noisy publicity about new, broad-gauged planning, Massachusetts has never mounted a coordinated effort to relocate a terminal for large tankers away from the Fore River. Ocean-going tankers are the greatest practical problems in reducing Fore River Bridge clearances and also big problems for Braintree residents, living a few hundred feet from over 50 million gallons in flammable and explosive fuel storage.

    For a low-rise replacement across the 700-foot Fore River channel, a stayed-cable bridge would be a strong candidate. The Great River Bridge in Burlington, IA, presented similar requirements. Carrying U.S. Route 34 across the upper Mississippi River, it has a 660-foot main span and 5 vehicle lanes, with 60 feet of vertical clearance. It cost about $50 million when opened in 1993. A similar bridge might cost up to $100 million now.

    By comparison, full costs of a new lift bridge or drawbridge replacement for the Route 3A Fore River Bridge are approaching $300 million--probably over $1,000 per lane-foot per year of life--plus eight full-time employees. Currently, a lazy state government proposes up to $200 million in unnecessary spending, on a prodigal project that mainly benefits two to five large tankers a month, which reimburse the state nothing. For far less money, the state could pay a tanker terminal to relocate and could fill in idle shipyard slips and basins.

     
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  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from topaz978. Show topaz978's posts

    Re: Can we afford antique bridges?

    There is still a valid infrastucture and desire by developers to build ships there. Get over it. You cannot refute the already existing wet and dry dock facilities. If they are not used today is it not short sighted to prevent them by building a cheap bridge? Or maybe building the cheap bridge and ten years later tearing it down for the higher cost? Plus permitting the height reduction will cost time and a lot of lawyers. Your cheap bridge will be neither cheap or quick, and likely a waste of money.
     

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