Skip to comments.Sherman Minton Bridge Closed Indefinitely After Cracks Found
Posted on 09/11/2011 2:15:37 PM PDT by Morgana
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels ordered the immediate closure of the Sherman Minton Bridge on Friday evening.
Transportation officials in Kentucky and Indiana were informed Friday of the discovery of two cracks in the load-carrying element of the bridge on Thursday.
Officials with the Indiana Department of Transportation said the crack is in an arch support over the Ohio River. There are two archways on the bridge; the crack was found on the underside of the roadway, near the archway closest to the Ohio River.
Officials called the cracks incredibly serious and potentially catastrophic.
"I would not have sent my family across that bridge," said Bob Zier, chief of staff for INDOT.
"The crack itself was determined to be above the level of risk that's really safe for motorists to be able to drive across," said Will Wingfield, public information officer for INDOT.
Travelers Must Find Alternate Routes
Over the next few days, structural engineers will be making further examinations of the bridge. But as for when the bridge might reopen, no one knows.
"No, we don't have an estimate at this time. So as a result, we should make people prepared that this could be short or could be very long-term in nature," Wingfield said.
"We found two areas with various very serious cracking in them. We still have 81 more to inspect. So the time to do this is going to be extensive," Zier said.
(Excerpt) Read more at wlky.com ...
“Officials called the cracks incredibly serious and potentially catastrophic.”
Why is it no one ever asks why they don’t find shit like this util it is so obvious? It doesn’t happen overnight. If we aren’t going to have an efficient DOT, why have one?
Is there no duct tape in the Louisville area?
So, finally, the cracks showed up and the inspectors were on the job. They found 90 pieces of steel that showed signs of cracking and 9 that didn't (in whatever part they were looking at).
Bridge inspections are frequently conducted by folks having nothing whatsoever to do with bridges or DOT.
http://www.wfpl.org/2011/09/09/beshear-promises-assistance-to-evaluate-sherman-minton-bridge/ ~ a little bit more in depth.
“various very serious”-’definitely deleterious, previously impervious’—feel free to add on,,,,,
No problem.......unless you live in the Knobs.
This is going to get interesting in a political way also. There have been plans to build an additional four bridges across the Ohio river in this area for close to thirty years.
A local ‘eco and high society’ group has been using various legal challenges and tricks to delay and halt where they could these new bridges. I imagine that new pressure will be placed on them to give up their resistance.
“Bridge inspections are frequently conducted by folks having nothing whatsoever to do with bridges or DOT”.
Who? Random, state by state, based on jurisdiction? All of the above?
Thank you for that information and insight.
Has any of this severe weather (flooding) or the earthquake had an impact on the area?
So often it turns out that it’s the envirowackos that have actually kept the state from doing what it needed to do to address an infrastructure problem.
Hey, Obama: good luck with that!
What were our ancestors thinking designing bridges with non-redundant load members. Easy for me to say I guess.
A surveyor can see if the bridge is still upright!
When your bridge has been whacked by a river barge (ever see one of those ~ they're huge) I am sure astute politicians make sure the potential inspectors are ready to jump on top of it.
“who are sufficiently trained that they can be brought in to inspect “
Uh huh. Brought in by who? Or are they just out “walking the earth” and looking to right the crack-challenged structures of the earth?
I have a friend who is a “bridge inspector”. $10.00 an hour and he worked as a janitor before that.
“I have a friend who is a bridge inspector. $10.00 an hour and he worked as a janitor before that. “
Hmmmmm. Sounds like the old “Panty Inspector” gag from the old days.
Correct, all of the above. Many are independent subs that have little or no training. I have a friend who is a bridge inspector. $10.00 an hour and he worked as a janitor before that.”
$10 bucks an hour, eh? Well hell, I could inspect several bridges a day on my regular commute. Especially if there is no one needed to direct the inspection to take place. Life is good for bridge inspectors. You’d think they would be out there inspecting there little hearts out.
Youd think they would be out there inspecting there little hearts out.
Meant “their” little hearts out.
EVERY bridge in the Midwest, whether a big Interstate job like that one (and there are several) or a country culvert was examined for signs of bed and footing erosion, visible cracks, rust, corrosion, etc.
ALL OF THEM.
They had everybody who worked for the federal government who had the slightest ability in any matters regarding or affecting bridges out looking. Same with the state and local governments.
Sorry you missed it all! Lots of fun I've heard.
A flashlight and snake boots are all you need to get started....
Just reach down there with your hands and feel that sucker ~ is there a crack? Is it rough? Is it smooth? Do you feel rebar perhaps?
There are water moccasins in the Ohio. 4 kinds of rattlesnakes and poisonous copperheads lurk on the shore.
They eat rats ~ and bridge inspectors.
Now, crawl out there on that trestle and tell us what you see.
Just stick your finger in that hole!
Chicago hadn't checked the Dan Ryan (a semi-elevated interstate quality highway with numerous overpasses) for a couple of decades. Then somebody did check it and found the salt used for keeping the roadway free of ice had managed to eat away all the top level supports.
It was expensive to find that. It would have been more expensive to not find that.
“Then somebody did check it and found the salt used for keeping the roadway free of ice had managed to eat away all the top level supports.”
Who was that masked man we owe so much to. And who called him there?
Weird that this bridge inspection is so nebulous. Weird. It’s like a governmental department is in charge. I wonder if these were all independently contracted if this would happen?
Still don’t understand why the DOT isn’t involved. Especially because every freaking state has one and their website specifically says it’s their baby. Gives individual state level dot depts to contact.
If you have questions about the condition of specific bridges, or would like to comment on bridge maintenance issues, please contact your State Department of Transportation.
“If you have questions about the condition of specific bridges, or would like to comment on bridge maintenance issues, please contact your State Department of Transportation.”
Our federal government, you know the one that is so superior to our state governments so we can travel safely.
If we arent going to have an efficient DOT, why have one?
The DOT is usually too busy busting truck drivers for having an expired fuel sticker or one burned out light (out of 30 or 40) .. bridges? they’re low priority compared to getting a new office building for themselves or brand new hemi charger cruisers to park at the weigh station.
The federal government financed the bridge out of Interstate Highway Trust Fund money, but they don't manage these bridges or highways. That's a state job. The states, of course, come up with the rights of way and manage spending the money and building the bridges and roads.
Most of the questions asked here about this process seem quite naive. Are you folks, perhaps, from the local highschool or what?
The answer is YES, your teacher will want you to write a report on this bridge. Be glad it was caught before it fell in ~ not like that one built by the Democrats in Minnesota that just went kerplunk.
Sherman-Minton Bridge Closure
Daniels orders I-64 Sherman-Minton Bridge closed
INDIANAPOLIS (September 9, 2011) -Governor Mitch Daniels tonight ordered the immediate closure of the Sherman-Minton Bridge between Indiana and Kentucky near Louisville.
Indiana and Kentucky transportation officials were informed today of the discovery of a concerning crack in the critical load-carrying element of the bridge on Thursday.
Structural engineers from the state and private sectors, as well as from engineering universities, recommended closing the bridge today after examining Thursday's data.
Experts have been at the bridge in the past weeks performing ongoing maintenance detailed inspections.
After consultations with Indiana and Kentucky transportation officials and the Federal Highway Administration, Daniels decided to close the bridge immediately.
The closure is indefinite pending further notice. Further examinations of the structure will take place in the coming days.
Traffic is being detoured over I-265 and I-65. The Indiana Department of Transportation, in coordination with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and Federal Highway Administration, will strive to keep the public informed as it develops a traffic plan for the coming work week and as more information becomes available.
Office of Communications
Indiana Department of Transportation
100 N. Senate Ave. IGCN 755
Indianapolis, IN 46204
I crossed it the night before the discovery.
Not the Ryan it was the Chicago Skyway.
A scary ride on good days.
Chicago required the Skyway to remain open during construction, engineers had to construct temporary bridge piers that would bear the load of the bridge and its traffic while new piers were built. Once ready, the bridge was lifted up onto the temporary piers using 600 ton hydraulic jacks, the old piers were removed, and new ones were built. Crews also devised innovative methods for replacing the bridge’s structural steel, replacing steel members one at a time. This process involved installing hydraulic chords around the component to be replaced. The bridge load was then transferred to the hydraulic chord, the steel member was removed and a new steel member was then installed.
In related news... numerous reports of a huge Mothman with glowing red eyes sited at the Huber Winery in nearby Starlight.
Sometimes bridges fall down.
The Tay Bridge Disaster is a poem written in 1880 by the Scottish poet William McGonagall, who has been widely acclaimed as the worst poet in British history. The poem recounts the events of the evening of December 28, 1879, when, during a severe gale, the Tay Rail Bridge at Dundee collapsed as a train was passing over it with the loss of all on board (now thought to be 75 people, not 90 as stated in the poem). The foundations of the bridge were not removed and are alongside the existing newer bridge.
Original Tay Bridge (from the north).
Original Tay Bridge (from the South) the day after the disaster.
The poem is by far the most famous ever written by McGonagall, and is still widely quoted. It begins:
“Beautiful railway bridge of the silv’ry Tay
Alas! I am very sorry to say
That ninety lives have been taken away
On the last sabbath day of 1879
Which shall be remembered for a very long time.”
And it ends:
“Oh! Ill-fated bridge of the silv’ry Tay
I now must conclude my lay
By telling the world fearlessly without the least dismay
That your central girders would not have given way
At least many sensible men do say
Had they been supported on each side with buttresses
At least many sensible men confesses
For the stronger we our houses build
The less chance we have of being killed”
William McGonagall wrote two other poems in praise of the Tay Bridge. The first one begins as follows:
The Railway Bridge of the Silvery Tay:
“Beautiful Railway Bridge of the Silvery Tay!
With your numerous arches and pillars in so grand array,
And your central girders, which seem to the eye
To be almost towering to the sky”
After the original bridge collapsed, a new one was built, providing the opportunity for another poem, which begins:
An Address to the New Tay Bridge
“BEAUTIFUL new railway bridge of the Silvery Tay,
With your strong brick piers and buttresses in so grand array,
And your thirteen central girders, which seem to my eye
Strong enough all windy storms to defy.”
Right ~ the Skyway. But from Chicago Roads.com try this honey: “
REBUILDING THE RYAN: As early as 1963, cracks began to form in the local lanes under the pressure of traffic that measured 180,000 vehicles per day (AADT), or 50% more than had been forecast. By the late 1960s, with traffic exceeding 210,000 vehicles per day, the steel reinforcement rods in the pavement had begun to fail. Poor drainage—particularly from the deicing salts used in the winter months—also was cited as a culprit.”
Always better at night ~
Southern Indiania is a bedroom community for Louisville.. Population of town swells about 30% Monday through Friday at 9 am and falls by the same percentage after 5pm.
1 bridge down is going to cause a traffic nightmare...but better than the alternative.
I am writing because I respect and understand Governor Daniels decision and the need to shut down the Sherman-Minton Bridge but if has major effects on my life. Understand that I live in New Albany but work for a company with offices in both Jeffersonville and Louisville. Due to this I have to drive across the river just about every day, like many in this area. The recent traffic has been bad, but not as bad as I thought it would be. I do think that the governments are doing a stellar job of dealing with this mess.
I do have an idea for you that might help. I remember talking with my wifes grandfather maybe 15 years or so ago when he was in town from French Lick. He was telling us about all the changes since he was a young man who went to Louisville for work in the 40s or 50s. He talked about how to get across the river from New Albany they drove on the railroad trestle. From his story it seems that the current railroad bridge from New Albany to Louisville was a duel use bridge for the trains and the auto traffic. I have looked at the images on Google Maps and it looks to my untrained eye like there are still metal grate roadbeds intact on either side of the structure. Im wondering if it can be negotiated with CSX to return those to light vehicle use during this state of emergency.
It looks like the roadbed has been maintained for maintained vehicles so returning it to full service shouldnt be too hard. Im sure that there would be a need for traffic signals to stop traffic while the bridge was in use by the trains but it would certainly reduce the traffic loads on I-65 and the Clark Memorial Bridges.
I have emailed this to Both Governors and to their Lt. Governors, the Mayors of New Albany and Louisville, both Depts. of Transportation and a few other government offices. I hope that they will take a serious look at it, but I am unsure. I have also emailed many of the local news people hoping they will look into it. I figure the more people looking at it the better so I thought to post it publicly to anyone who might be affected or even interested. I’m sure that some will also contact government officials and ask about this option as well.
Thank you for your time and attention,
Bruce (AKA Thurat)
New Albany, IN
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