Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Bridge Ratings

Louisiana Bridge Ratings
in the aftermath
of the Minnesota bridge tragedy, the T.P. has put together an article on the health of SE Louisiana bridges

It's not good news for commuters from Slidell and Mississippi and beyond.

Update 8-8-07: MSNBC has a link to bridge ratings by parish

From the Times Picayune article:

The National Bridge Inspection System requires states to collect inspection reports at least once every two years on all public bridges longer than 20 feet. States use a scale of 1 to 9, with 6 meaning satisfactory, 5 fair, 4 poor, 3 serious, 2 critical and 1 forcing immediate closure.

The U.S. 11 bridge over Lake Pontchartrain,

the Interstate 310 Mississippi River bridge at Luling (aka the Hale Boggs Bridge),

and both of the Interstate 10 twin spans over Lake Pontchartrain were rated either "serious" or "critical," although the twin spans appear to be a special case, having been reconstructed since crumbling in Hurricane Katrina and inspected on a daily basis.

In December, inspectors found deteriorated and cracked girders, joints, diaphragms and caps in the 79-year-old U.S. 11 drawbridge, as well as exposed rebar, earning the bridge a "serious" rating. The Interstate 310 bridge is only 24 years old, but corrosion on girders above the roadway also earned it a "serious" rating, even though the structure below the roadway had few problems.

I commute over the 11 bridge daily. Have been for 25 years. It's always been in crappy condition and
I'm sure Katrina did a number on it based on the dips in the roadway and missing guardrails.

I stay away from the I10 Twin Spans due to crazy drivers who brake at the top of the hump. Gives me the

I use the Hale Boggs bridge every time I take the trip to Thibodaux to see my daughter at Nicholls State.

Living in this part of the state we're surrounded by water. On my daily ride to and from work, its possible
to cross ten bridges on a roundtrip. I don't think of myself as a gambler, but I guess I'm always
playing the odds when I venture out from home, don't I?


barbawit said...

Here is a what if for you. What if these bridges are overloaded with traffic due to a mandatory evacuation and colapse due to the increased load of cars.

judyb said...

Scary thought. One that I had frequently in October-November of 2005 as I was sitting in post Kbumper-bumper traffic on the Hwy 11 Bridge (the only road to & from Slidell at the time). There were debris removal trucks, 18 wheelers, busses. I had visions of the bridge collapsing back then. Guess that's the price we pay for living around so much water. :)