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Tag Archives | Bridges

WPRI: 6/10 inspection reports reveal close-ups of potentially dangerous dilapidation

ridot-6-10-huntington-bridge

Huntington Bridge photo from RIDOT’s Facebook page

Among the new issues revealed, a horribly rusted temporary support beam.

“This was decaying to the point of possibly falling over onto the high speed rail that’s next to it,” [RIDOT Director Peter] Alviti explained.

OK, should I not ride the train through this area then?

Alviti, who admitted the condition of the various structures keep him awake at night, said the fact that the reports are available is one of RIDOT’s most important, recent changes.

If the Director literally cannot sleep at night about it, shouldn’t the roadway be closed? What exactly is keeping him from sleeping if not the fear of an imminent collapse?

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City seeks ideas to light the Route 95 Eddy Street underpass

eddy-street-underpass

From the Providence Department of Planning and Development:


Request for Proposals for a Lighting Installation for the Eddy Street Underpass

Project Background and Context

The City of Providence is soliciting creative designs for a lighting installation that would activate and enhance the safety and visual appeal of the Eddy Street underpass. The improvement of this space through unique artistic design would not only make the underpass significantly safer and more inviting for pedestrians, but it would also define a sense of place, effectively connecting the City’s emerging Hospital District with the more established, pedestrian-friendly Jewelry District. Activation of this space provides a significant opportunity to establish a well-designed, identifiable connection between these two vital districts, while promoting a safe, pedestrian-oriented environment. Furthermore, this project allows for an exciting opportunity to utilize the abundant local artistic talent, further enhancing the identity of Providence as “The Creative Capital.”

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Barry Schiller: Rhode Works – $4.8 Billion for Rhode Island Transportation

warren-ave-ridot

The crumbling Warren Avenue bridge in East Providence was recently replace. Image from RIDOT

Barry Schiller, a retired Rhode Island College math professor, is a long-time member of the State Planning Council’s Transportation Advisory Committee. He also was on the RIPTA Board of Directors 1995-1999.

What is your 10 year vision for transportation in Rhode Island? The Governor and her new RIDOT leaders propose their answer on the home page of the RIDOT website where there is a link to a 10 year $4.8 billion transportation plan called “Rhode Works.” This is about $1.1 billion more than current funding levels. A $700 million revenue bond is proposed for funding “replacement, reconstruction, and maintenance” of state bridges, the bond to be paid back by tolls on large commercial trucks crossing some bridges on Routes 95, 195, 295, 146, and 6/10. $400 million is set aside for the Route 6/10 bridges. There is a goal to reduce the percentage of our deficient bridges from about 22% to 10%. There will be a hearing on the proposed tolls at House Finance on Tuesday evening June 2.

Another $400 million to fund Rhode Works is from seeking $400 million in federal “New Start” transit funds. Rhode Works promises a “new commitment to provide increased bus and rail services.” The only specific transit project mentioned is an express bus lane on Routes 6/10. Rhode Works also promises “funding for bike lanes and accessible sidewalks.” There is no mention of bike paths.

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News & Notes

seattle-times-bridge The Seattle Times: ‘Miracles’: 3 survive I-5 collapse

A chunk of Interstate 5 collapsed into the Skagit River near Mount Vernon on Thursday evening, dumping two vehicles into the icy waters and creating a gaping hole in Washington state’s major north-south artery.

Rescuers pulled three people with minor injuries from the water after the collapse, which authorities say began when a semitruck with an oversized load struck a steel beam at around 7 p.m.

That caused a massive piece of the northern side of the bridge to wobble, and then fall into the water, taking with it a gold pickup, its travel trailer and an orange SUV.


But actually, our infrastructure crisis is a myth…

Bloomberg: The Myth of the Falling Bridge

Maybe it’s going too far to say, “The U.S. is doing just fine, thank you very much.” The nation would benefit from reordering its infrastructure priorities — away from new highways, for example, where we are already overbuilt and usage is falling for the first extended period on record. And we’d do well to take advantage of low interest rates and idle construction resources to knock out all of our future infrastructure needs.

But the idea that the U.S. has an infrastructure crisis? No. A broad, permanent increase in spending is unwarranted.

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USDOT issues Rhode Island more discretionary grants

Interlink

Interlink in Warwick

Recently, the Federal Transportation Adminstration issued two grants for RIPTA and now RIDOT is recieving Federal Highway Administration grants for three projects.

Innovative Bridge Research and Deployment (IBRD) Program • $360,000

Browning Mill Bridge carrying Arcadia road over Roaring Brook: The project uses relatively new bridge replacement technology known as “Bridge in Backpack.” Construction time for this innovative construction method is much faster than the conventional cast-in-place construction technique, improving safety and minimizing traffic impact.

Interstate Maintenance Discretionary (IMD) Program • $3,341,000

I-95 Pawtucket River Bridge Reconstruction Project in Providence*: The project will replace a structurally deficient interstate bridge (between exits 27 and 28 in Pawtucket) that was constructed in 1958 to carry 60,000 vehicles per day but now carries approximately 162,000 vehicles per day.

Transportation, Community and System Preservation Program (TCSP) • $400,000

Warwick Station Transit Oriented Development Economic Development Implementation Plan: TCSP funds will help advance the economic development outreach for a proposed transit project in Warwick.

* This is actually for the Pawtucket River Bridge in Pawtucket, I don’t know why it says Providence, maybe Providence County.

Via: Transportation Nation

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New report on bridges ranks Providence Metro third… worst

The State of Our Nation's BridgesTransportation for America released a report today on the state of our nation’s bridges. Hint, the news is not good.

A new look at structurally deficient bridges in metropolitan areas finds that just a quarter of U.S. bridges, located in our largest metropolitan areas, carry 75 percent of all traffic crossing a deficient bridge each day.

On the heels of the sudden closure of a major commuting bridge in Louisville, KY, a new report shows that more than 18,000 of the nation’s busiest bridges, clustered in the nation’s metro areas, are rated as “structurally deficient,” according to this new report from Transportation for America.

In Los Angeles, for example, an average 396 drivers cross a deficient bridge every second, the study found. The Fix We’re In For: The State of Our Nation’s Busiest Bridges, ranks 102 metro areas in three population categories based on the percentage of deficient bridges.

The report found that Pittsburgh, PA had the highest percentage of deficient bridges (30.4 percent) for a metro area with a population of over 2 million (and overall). Oklahoma City, OK (19.8 percent) topped the chart for metro areas between 1-2 million, as did Tulsa, OK (27.5 percent) for metro areas between 500,000-1 million.

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News & Notes

In wake of Ohio River bridge closure, NBC Nightly News examines the sorry state of U.S. bridges [Transportation for America]

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Over the weekend, NBC Nightly News ran a sharp piece on our country’s structurally deficient bridges, focusing on the data in the T4 America bridge report.

At least one person somewhere in the U.S. is driving over a structurally deficient bridge, according to T4 America director James Corless in a report on the woeful condition of our nation’s bridges on NBC Nightly News Sunday evening.

Brought into the national spotlight because of the recent closure of a highly-trafficked interstate bridge over the Ohio River in Louisville, Kentucky and the President’s scheduled appearance at a Cincinnati-area bridge this Thursday, more national media outlets (and Americans and their leaders in Congress, one would hope) are paying attention to the real-life impacts of underinvestment in infrastructure.


Debunking the Cul-de-Sac [The Atlantic Cities]

This is where it’s most apparent – from an airplane window – that American ideas about how to live and build communities have changed dramatically over time. For decades, families fled the dense urban grid for newer types of neighborhoods that felt safer, more private, even pastoral. Through their research, Garrick and colleague Wesley Marshall are now making the argument that we got it all wrong: We’ve really been designing communities that make us drive more, make us less safe, keep us disconnected from one another, and that may even make us less healthy.


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News & Notes

Seniors and the City [Governing]

Have you ever thought the walk signs at street corners weren’t long enough? Probably not. But if you’re over 65 years old, it may be a different matter. What seems like a reasonable amount of time to cross a street is more like an Olympic sprint for the elderly. It’s one of numerous issues that have grown in importance as our population not only ages but becomes increasingly concentrated in cities.

In 2006, just 11 percent of the global population was over the age of 60, but the number is expected to double by 2050, according to the World Health Organization. Meanwhile, the number of people living in cities continues to rise. In North America, 81 percent of the population lived in urban areas in 2005, and is expected to reach 87 percent by 2030.


Gridlock Sam: Too Big to Fall [Blueprint America]

…as pointed out in a new book, Too Big to Fall by Barry LePatner, there are tens of thousands of fracture critical bridges in the United States and nearly 8,000 are structurally deficient, which is a recipe for disaster.

Using the tragic collapse of the I-35 bridge in Minneapolis as a starting point, Barry LePatner lays out how our nation has neglected a majority of our 6,000 spans. LePatner presents a complete, well-researched story about the nation’s transportation infrastructure. This book is a must read for anyone in engineering, construction, architecture, and planning. Frankly, it is a must read for any American who is concerned about the continuing strength of our economy and our quality of life.

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News & Notes

Transportation for America: The Fix We’re In: The State of Rhode Island’s Bridges

America’s infrastructure is beginning to show its age. Our nation’s roads, highways and bridges have increasingly received failing scores on maintenance and upkeep. The American Society of Civil Engineers has rated our country’s overall infrastructure a “D” and our bridges a “C.” For roads and highways, this manifests itself in rutted roadways, cracked pavement and abundant potholes, creating significant costs for drivers and businesses due to increased wear and tear on their vehicles. For the nation’s bridges, lack of maintenance can result in the sudden closure of a critical transportation link or, far worse, a collapse that results in lost lives and a significant loss in regional economic productivity.


The Providence Journal: R.I. Governor Chafee: ‘Fix the DMV’

Good luck with that.


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News & Notes

Rail Service Expansion Imperiled at State Level [The New York Times]

“Any notion that somehow rail is subsidized, and other modes of transportation aren’t, is simply not factual,” said Mr. Smith, the president Reconnecting America, a nonprofit transportation advocacy group, who noted that highways and airports were subsidized as well. “Honestly, transportation infrastructure should not be a partisan issue. When you talk about good transportation solutions, they cross party lines.”

The Rise of the Bus-Riding Celebrity? [GOOD]

A Massive Facelift for Eastern Germany [Spiegel Online]

During a trip to East Germany in 1990, photographer Stefan Koppelkamm discovered buildings that had survived both the war and the construction mania of the East German authorities. Ten years later, he returned to photograph the buildings again. The comparison threw up some unexpected contrasts.

Visit the Berlin Interactive Graphic and the Photo Gallery.

Vacant Fox Point industrial buildings put on the auction block [Providence Business News]

Former home of Bevo on South Main Street

Why All the Outrage Over Bike Boxes? [publicola]

Perhaps even more than “road diets,” which replace driving lanes with bike lanes and add a turn lane for cars, the bike boxes have brought out anti-bike, pro-car contingent, which argues that it’s unfair to make drivers wait for cyclists at red lights.

From the cyclist’s point of view, of course, this is an asinine argument. First, the primary point of bike boxes is to make cyclists more visible to drivers. When drivers hit cyclists|and yes, cyclists do frequently get hit in right-hook accidents by inattentive drivers|the inevitable refrain is, “I didn’t see her!” Bike boxes make drivers more likely to see us.

We suggested a Bike Box at the Point Street and South Water Street intersection where the Wickenden Street overpass used to be, when the street is rebuilt.

Rhode Island roads need $4.5 billion investment over next decade, report says [Providence Business News]

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Bad bridges costing RIPTA

ProJo reports on how deficient bridges are hurting RIPTA’s bottom line.

The agency recently adopted a plan to reduce service and raise fares to close an expected budget gap. The service cuts will save a projected $650,000 and the fare increase will generate a projected $975,000.

Meanwhile the authority has spend approximately $1,000,000 due to bridges that they cannot cross. Costs come from using extra diesel on detouors, paying drivers for longer shifts, and in one case, purchasing a smaller bus.

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Pedestrian bridges of the world

As we are discussing the future Providence River Pedestrian Bridge, I thought it may be helpful to look at some existing pedestrian bridges aroung the world. Through the magic of Flikr, here are some:

Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge Omaha, Nebraska and Council Bluffs, Iowa

Photo (cc) nic221

The Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge between Omaha, Nebraska and Council Bluffs, Iowa is a 3,000 foot cable-stayed span across the Missouri River. This differs from the Providence River in that it is engineered to cross the river in one jump (the longest span being 506 feet), and with a 52 foot clearance is designed to clear river traffic that the Providence River does not have. It’s S-curve is pretty sexy though.

Henderson Waves Singapore

Photo (cc) chooyutshing

Wikipedia describes the Henderson Waves Bridge in Singapore:

Henderson Waves 900 foot long pedestrian bridge. At 120 feet above Henderson Road, it is the highest pedestrian bridge in Singapore. It connects Mount Faber Park and Telok Blangah Hill Park. It was designed by IJP Corporation, London, and RSP Architects Planners and Engineers (PTE) ltd Singapore.

The bridge has a wave-form made up of seven undulating curved steel ribs that alternately rise over and under its deck. The curved ribs form alcoves that function as shelters with seats within. Slats of yellow balau wood, an all-weather timber found in Southeast Asia, are used in the decking. The wave-forms are lit with LED lamps at night from 7pm to 2am daily.

Passerelle Paul Couturier Lyon, France

Photo (cc) Basilio

Lyon, France’s Passerelle Paul Couturier originally built in 1853 and rebuilt after being destroyed in 1944 is an 87 meter span across the River Saône.

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