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PennDOT to remove 'plug welds' from 13 bridges to avoid potentially dangerous condition
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette ^ | January 7, 2018 | Ed Blazina

Posted on 01/14/2018 8:11:58 AM PST by Tolerance Sucks Rocks

A crack that closed the Delaware River Bridge between Philadelphia and New Jersey last January has prompted the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation to plan repairs to 13 other bridges across the state.

The crack in welding material, which created a 2-inch gap in a major truss, was so serious that officials thought they might have to permanently close the span owned by the Pennsylvania and New Jersey turnpikes. As a result of that problem, PennDOT looked for similar issues in other bridges; the repairs will involve drilling out areas where welding occurred to fill improperly drilled holes, called plug welding, and installing bolts to eliminate the potential for cracking at weld sites.

The practice of filling holes drilled in the wrong place to salvage a piece of steel, common in construction projects decades ago, is no longer permitted in high-tension situations because heating the steel for welding can create a weakness that results in cracking.

Lou Ruzzi, PennDOT’s bridge engineer for Allegheny, Beaver and Lawrence counties, said engineers inspected 13 bridges that have steel pieces with plug welds. They didn’t find any problems, but the agency will issue a contract in April to drill out more than 650 plug welds and fill the holes with bolts to eliminate the possibility of cracking in the future.

The bolts won’t attach to anything, but putting a bolt through the hole and a nut on the other end will increase the strength of the pieces, experts said. The contract will be issued in April and the work will cost from $1 million to $1.5 million.

“We haven’t found any bridge with any cracks,” Mr. Ruzzi said. “But we don’t want to take that chance, so that’s why we will repair them.”

(Excerpt) Read more at post-gazette.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Government; News/Current Events; US: Pennsylvania
KEYWORDS: bridges; infrastructure; pabridges; paping; paturnpike; penndot; pennsylvania; repairs; safety; transportation
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1 posted on 01/14/2018 8:11:58 AM PST by Tolerance Sucks Rocks
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To: All
Road Warrior: PennDOT retrofitting bridges with same flaw that shut down Delaware River Bridge (1/11)
2 posted on 01/14/2018 8:15:04 AM PST by Tolerance Sucks Rocks (Happy New Year! Screeeeewwwww 2017!)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

Duct tape. Fix it right up.


3 posted on 01/14/2018 8:16:24 AM PST by BenLurkin (The above is not a statement of fact. It is either satire or opinion. Or both.)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

At $1000000, that’ more than $1500 per bolt.


4 posted on 01/14/2018 8:18:11 AM PST by babygene (hMake America Great Again)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

Someone must have flunked welding school.


5 posted on 01/14/2018 8:19:49 AM PST by stars & stripes forever (Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord. Psalm 33:12")
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To: stars & stripes forever

No kidding. I learned this as a young welder in the machine shop in 1968...taught to me by an uncle that was a US Navy welder in WW2. He said it was forbidden then.


6 posted on 01/14/2018 8:23:48 AM PST by mad_as_he$$
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To: stars & stripes forever

Not a welding issue but a drilling issue.

To paraphrase the old saying, “measure twice, drill once.”


7 posted on 01/14/2018 8:24:41 AM PST by Fresh Wind (Hillary: Go to jail. Go directly to jail. Do not pass GO. Do not collect 2 billion dollars.)
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To: stars & stripes forever

More like flunked morality school.


8 posted on 01/14/2018 8:27:29 AM PST by lacrew
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To: mad_as_he$$

My dad was a welder. Back in the day welders had to take a test for each job they did - even the experts. How many defective welds are in strategic spots in bridges, skyscrapers, etc.?


9 posted on 01/14/2018 8:28:03 AM PST by stars & stripes forever (Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord. Psalm 33:12")
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

The bolts won’t attach to anything, but putting a bolt through the hole and a nut on the other end will increase the strength of the pieces, experts said.

I’m a civil engineer and a bolt through a hole attached to nothing else adding strength is news to me. Something is missing in this story.


10 posted on 01/14/2018 8:30:31 AM PST by Sequoyah101 (It feels like we have exchanged our dreams for survival. We just have a few days that don't suck.)
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To: Sequoyah101

>>Something is missing in this story.

Washers? Oversized nuts?


11 posted on 01/14/2018 8:32:25 AM PST by Pearls Before Swine
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To: babygene

And how much would you charge to hang suspended under a bridge, hoist up drilling equipment, drill through 1/2”+ steel, insert a bolt and have another guy hoisted on the other side to hold the nut?

Oh - don’t forget the guys on the ground keeping you safe, and all the special equipment you need. Everyone on the project will probably need a 60-hour OSHA card too.

There are probably anti-corrosion and environmental issues as well.

$1500.00 sounds about right.


12 posted on 01/14/2018 8:33:24 AM PST by NY.SS-Bar9 (Those that vote for a living outnumber those that work for one.)
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To: babygene

Union labor, no doubt.


13 posted on 01/14/2018 8:34:27 AM PST by Tolerance Sucks Rocks (Happy New Year! Screeeeewwwww 2017!)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

I don’t understand how putting a bolt through the hole strengthens the piece of steel that the hole is in.

If the heat from the weld plug has already weakened the steel it seems that the damage is already done.


14 posted on 01/14/2018 8:34:55 AM PST by bankwalker (Immigration without assimilation is an invasion.)
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To: stars & stripes forever

No some one flunked where to put the holes


15 posted on 01/14/2018 8:35:43 AM PST by Nifster (I see puppy dogs in the clouds)
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To: Pearls Before Swine

Leave it alone. Inspect. If cracks apear then fix it.


16 posted on 01/14/2018 8:37:02 AM PST by Leo Carpathian (FReeeeepeesssssed)
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To: Sequoyah101

I’m guessing they might have meant that the bolt and nut restore the strength lost when the hole was drilled.


17 posted on 01/14/2018 8:37:17 AM PST by Tolerance Sucks Rocks (Happy New Year! Screeeeewwwww 2017!)
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To: Nifster
"...to fill improperly drilled holes..."

WHO made the "improperly drilled holes"??? They need to be made to pay for the fixes and prosecuted!

18 posted on 01/14/2018 8:40:11 AM PST by jackibutterfly (With hilliary, we didn’t dodge a bullet... we dodged a 100 megaton hydrogen bomb!!!)
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To: BenLurkin
> Duct tape. Fix it right up. <


19 posted on 01/14/2018 8:47:07 AM PST by Leaning Right (I have already previewed or do not wish to preview this composition.)
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To: Pearls Before Swine

Does little good.


20 posted on 01/14/2018 8:47:57 AM PST by Sequoyah101 (It feels like we have exchanged our dreams for survival. We just have a few days that don't suck.)
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