Hey, don't knock it, I have two - TWO - bridges that are 50 percent or lower only 3 blocks from my house in Fremont.
And another below 50 just over in Ballard.
I am ever so happy to be sending my US tax dollars to build bridges in Iraq and give the people who attack our soldiers weapons to kill them with.
Spend it here. NOW.
Wow, thank you very much for pointing that out.
Nice investigating, if it was yours. Sheesh that's crazy...9%!
Don't you know that we can't have that problem with the 520 bridge because it is a floating bridge? where is going to fall to? nowhere, it is already on the water. and we don't have to worry about it sinking because it is a floating bridge. we just have to make sure we keep it stuck together so the floating sections don't float away...
I spent the whole weekend hoping one of the Blue Angels would crash into the viaduct, solving several problems at once. Maybe next year.
Can we tear it down yet? Would it really be that bad to replace it with a boulevard, some new park land and a light rail? Would anybody miss it 10 years from now? I seriously doubt it. I've driven plenty of times from Ballard to West Seattle and I think some well-timed lights would do just fine. If there was light rail, I would absolutely take that.
The Viaduct is too expensive to keep safe and I'm fairly certain we could do much better without it. We could do a better job both moving people with light rail and we could create a more vital waterfront with new green space.
The South Park bridge is a 4 on the same rating scale--worst in the state. It is due for a complete replacement if the Roads and Transit package passes in November.
ddv@3--I hope you are joking. Here is what a 520 collapse might look like:
Well, I'll argue that if we're not going to seriously do anything about any of it, actively tearing any of these structures down would lessen the amount of time that they remain available to the people of this region.
DDV, floating bridges can sink. The I-90 bridge did just that, during construction of the enlarged span.
But it's ridiculous to assert that the Minneapolis bridge collapsed because its rating was 50. It collapsed because it was weakened and overstressed by repairs. Did you see the paper this morning? They're tentatively blaming the row of trucks loaded with crushed stone that were lined up on the weakened bridge.
i tend to be irrationally fearful of things like airplane crashes and bridge collapses. it was actually reassuring that the survival rate for those driving on the collapsed bridge was so high. (my condolences to the departed.) probability of viaduct collapsing * probability of being on the viaduct * probability of serious injury in collapse = quite small. especially if you're wearing a seatbelt.
'cept if you were underneath the bridge at the time, like folks on the bottom deck would be.
I've never been particualrly fearful of the being on the top deck - for reasons you cite (though much of the analysis suggests the viaduct would tip over and crumble, so not quite the same thing as the almost straight drop what occured in Minnesota).
@9 - I'm sure that was comforting to the families in the twin cities.
Problem is, we have the powers that be trying to offer us solutions like paying 40 percent of the funding required for the 520 bridge replacement instead of the traditional 80 percent, just to get a new cross base highway built over wetlands (without HOV lanes) into the RTID.
Which is totally insane. The tolls on that bridge would have to go until 2060. Assuming no rise in expenses (which there will be).
So, the RTID/ST2 plan won't solve it. We'll have to vote that down and get a better solution that actually FIXES the problem, and then revote the ST2 that should have been on the ballot by itself anyway.
Tonight, every bridge with a rating of 50 or less is going to fall. Watch yo'self, fool!
I've avoided the viaduct since the last big quake. I don't know what's going to happen to it but when it does I won't be on it.
Aaaaah FNarf - the I-90 bridge sank because the hatches were left open.
On November 25, 1990, after a week of high winds and rain, the 50-year old Lacey V. Murrow Bridge (Lake Washington Floating Bridge) breaks apart and plunges into the mud beneath Lake Washington. Since it took some time for the bridge to sag and finally crack apart, news cameras were poised and ready to show post-Thanksgiving TV viewers a once-in-a-lifetime telecast of the demise of the historic I-90 span. It is later discovered that hatchways into the concrete pontoon air pockets were left open, allowing water to enter, while the bridge was undergoing a $35.6 million renovation.
Your information doesn't contradict mine at all.
Well ECB don't you feel good about doing your little bit to delay the replacement and therefore increase the likeliness that it could collapse with cars on it?
I think they let the old 90 bridge sink because it sucked so very, very much. Talk about your deathtraps - that thing had a "donut" in the center that cars would occasionally drive through, never to be seen from again. Since it happened at night, there were many times no witnesses.
The "donut" was called the "bulge" back in the day. It was a movable section in the middle that would slide out at an angle to let boats through (the ones that couldn't fit under the taller spans at each end of the bridge.) I'll go along with the conspiracy theory about letting it sink. It would have cost a lot to take that thing apart and haul it off.
I'd DEFINITELY avoid the viaduct if only that it will become the new I-5 during August Of Traffic Hell. Talk about a stress test.
That 520 video has now scared me. Here I thought "At least I wouldn't fall several dozen feet to my death if the 520 failed somehow. It'd just slowly sink." Well, so much for that reassuring thought.
Huh? Why do you think it was rated at 50%?
The South Park bridge is worse and would be much cheaper to fix. Also Kenny has been killed enough times already hasn't he. Do we really want to have another one of his deaths on our collective conscience. Don't Kill Kenny - Fix The Southpark Bridge.
El Puente de South park es peor y repararlo eso sería mucho más barato. Además Keny ya se ha matado bastante, no? Es verdad que queramos tener otra de sus muertes en nuestra consciencia collectiva?
Well, TSM, if you decide that your best plan is just to sit there in your car until you're submerged and the air is gone, then yes, that's going to be a problem. But if you roll down your window and get out of the car before you're under water, or even if you're mostly under it, you'll just be swimming. You can swim, can't you?
So much for subtlety.
Barnett, you're like a VW Bug owner or one of those people who sees 11s everywhere with this automobile hang up.
Every last sensual stimulus is an argument against the car. Does your mom call you to wish a happy birthday only to hear you respond,"Fuck yeah mom! I say screw the SUVs too!"
I swear to god the strongest argument for "War For Oil" is your blunt crusading.
Get a job.
There's nothing to worry about with the viaduct. It's sinking pretty fast, but not too fast. In about five years the lower portion of the deck will be sitting safely on the ground. Calm down everyone.
Hey, don't forget the I-5 canal bridge, which actually received 54% and has been deemed by that site as unsuitable. That's reassuring.
Basically, just about any major bridge in this city could go at any time given suitable stress.
Fnarf @ 8...today's All Things Considered had a good segment on the Minn. bridge, in which several structural engineers said they weren't on board with the construction work or trucks. Far more important to them was the fact that the bridge deck had been widened significantly over the years and the bridge was carrying something like four times the amount of vehicle traffic than was anticipated when it was built.
One of the engineers went on at length about "load cycles." He also noted that this is the case with most of the interstate system at this point...the roads and bridges are carrying far more traffic than the design specs called for and that that, combined with an almost criminal lack of upkeep and repair, was leading to early failure.
Here's the worsth thing about a Cascadia Subduction earthquake, the big 9.0 that they always talk about that would drop ~25% of the bridges in the area (Viaduct, Aurora, and I-5 Ship Canal for sure):
it would set off one or more of the Cascade volcanos. So as you sit in bumper to bumper traffic, you will be able to listen to the progress of the lahars coming down off of Glacier Peak and/or Mt. Rainier. The first would take about 90 min to reach Mount Vernon, the second 120 min to reach downtown Tacoma.
Think not? Look at the Andaman Island volanic response to the Dec 26 2004 quake.
#9: The Minn bridge, a single decker much like our I-5 Ship Canal Bridge, was over water. The Viaduct is a double-decker over two busy streets, a parking lot, several rickety historic brick buildings. Even worse.
When the viaduct falls over (which it will before people here will ever make a decision) it will bankrupt the state.
The state's insurance carrier will refuse to provide the payout of billions of dollars in settlements to those who were killed (in the cars and in the adjacent condos and waterfront tourist traps) in the disaster because it will successfully argue that the state knew the viaduct was dangerous and failed to take corrective action in a timely manner.
When counties have gone bankrupt (and there are several that have done so in the US) it is not a pretty picture, since all state services will be forced to shut down, such as prisons, drivers license offices, and the state department of transportation, not to mention the state legislature.
WA State is living on borrowed time. There should be a betting pool on how many hours or days till the damn thing falls over.
I'm just sayin' . . .
Also, curious but having trouble surfing the slow-loading site: what is the criteria for this site's rating system? Is it fixed or subjective? I'm not doubting its validity but am curious.
hey ddv. the 520 bridge doesnt float 100 percent, only in the middle. it has raised spans on both sides on cement pillars. yes it can fall, and yes it would be nasty.
DDV, I guess you've never heard of the Hood Canal bridge or its history.
@Fnarf #8: All the reports I have read have stated that the repairs being done to the Minn. bridge were surface repairs, not structural. And the bridge was not operating all lanes each way, so that the amount of cars going over it was reduced, hence, not the normal amount of weight that the brige sustained regularly.
So how would the weight of trucks that might be slightly more weight than the bridge would normally have on it make it collapse like that?
don't forget about 1989
I know, let's increase the number of 18-wheeler double trucks on all the bridges and defer maintenance for more important things like funding partially a civil war in Iraq that does nothing for America.
Hey ddw #3
You need to pay more attention to local events.
Like when 1-90 sank.
It's interesting that we all know the viaduct isn't a solid structure anymore. We can all compare notes and argue "what would you do". However, when it comes down to it: no one cares about Seattle streets or safety. Really, actions speak louder and our actions say we're more concerned with raising taxes for sports stadiums than putting the money toward the safety of the roads that lead to them. We're more interested in paying incompetent people to plot a monorail that will never be built than we are in making a choice about what NEEDS to be done NOW.
Oh, and if you've ever driven North Aurora at rush hour, you couldn't possibly believe that traffic lights (notably ill timed through out down town) and light rail will absord even a 1/3 of the over flow of traffic at rush hour. Let alone when there is a game at either stadium.
Seattle doesn't plan, it dreams and debates while the walls fall down.
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