Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Brooklyn Bridge in worse shape than thought

From the Daily News:

A repair for the Brooklyn Bridge is $100 million over budget and the completion date has been pushed back yet again due to major cracks and holes discovered during the five years of work, the Daily News has learned.

Engineers discovered more than 3,000 new structural “flags” on the city’s most famous span that will increase the costs of fixes and improvements from $508 million to more than $600 million, according to documents obtained via a Freedom of Information Law request.

The 1,595-foot span was originally set to fully reopen this past April but was delayed for a year. Now, construction won’t be completed until some yet-to-be-disclosed date in 2016, according to city Department of Transportation records.

Scraping off old paint revealed holes, fraying cables and fissures on the iconic bridge that weren’t identifiable during the design phase of the project.

“During the normal course of the work, DOT identified thousands of additional steel repairs that were needed, which have required additional time and funding for the project,” said department spokeswoman Bonny Tsang.

City Hall has repeatedly authorized added expenditures since the massive rehab project was started in 2010. After scraping off old paint, inspectors discovered multiple fissures, holes and fraying cables, including 30 that were labeled red flags, documents show. Construction crews found cracks in steel beams as wide as 7 inches.

“These were not identifiable during the design process,” Tsang said.

The lead contractor, Skanska-Koch, says the delays are due to the added damage on the 132-year old bridge as well as the city’s reluctance to shut down the bridge for entire weekends.

The slowdown is also due to some unforeseen work stoppages, documents reveal.


Anonymous said...

Considering the layers of paint built up over the years, the hidden problems aren't a surprise. Hell, some of these defects might had been intentionally covered with layer after layer of paint in an attempt to arrest decay and hide problems.

georgetheatheist said...

Too bad Sinatra never wore the real uniform in WWII.

Anonymous said...

What about all the decay that's hidden by paint on the #7 line?

Anonymous said...

FYI....there is a lot of defective steel cable in the original "ropes". Roebling contracted out the weaving of the steel. When he discovered this, he figured there was so much redundancy it did not matter. Then he formed a company to weave his own high quality cable . That bridge was overbuilt to last' unlike the crap that's built today.

Anonymous said...

I saw a documentary on the bridge and they said the Manhattan side is built on silt not bedrock and that if an earthquake were to happen the bridge might come down.
It was very interesting that Roebling died before the bridge was complete and his wife ran the operations from her apartment overlooking the bridge in Brooklyn Heights.
Like they say"they don't make them like that anymore" but nothing lasts forever especially steel.

Anonymous said...

GTA, it was a perforated eardrum that got Frank Sinatra out of the draft

Anonymous said...

"...overbuilt to last..."
The bridges of the late 1800's were designed and built with lots of margin due to issues with quality control and unknowns when you pioneer structures. Otherwise, you get the disasters that befell many bridges 1800-1950. The structures still standing from that era survive due to overbuilding and adequate maintenance.

Today, we have centuries of design and performance history. We've learned from disasters and performance records, have better materials, quality control, and design tools (supercomputers, FEM) to design and build structures. For the sake of economy, we design with closer margins. These structures need regular maintenance and repairs like the old bridges. However, the lower design margins mean they suffer more from low quality and deferred maintenance.