What Goes into Bridge Maintenance?
5 years ago, the Mississippi River Bridge, collapsed. 13 people succumbed in the accident ,and 145 were injured.
Many of us drive or walk over a bridge at least, once a day. Some of us may even think about the safety, of a particular bridge. But how many of us think, about the regular repairs and up-keep that should be done on that bridge?
We take a look at bridge maintenance in the United States and what everyone needs to do, to keep our bridges safe.
Franklin Moon, a civil engineer who teaches at Drexel University says “We have a lot of durability issues. We have a lot of potholes, corrosion of bridges. But we don't have a lot of bridges that are unsafe.”
Moon says that bridges need to be looked after regularly, not just after an accident.
“The DOTS from state to state, are doing well to keep the bridges safe. The issue comes in the routine maintenance , we're not doing the oil changes really well,” adds Moon.
Keeping up-to-date on repairs ,and improvements is important . Bridges should not get to a point where they need to be closed to traffic.
“If anyone believes a bridge is unsafe, it's closed. Nobody is allowing a bridge to be open, if it's unsafe. That being said, there's more bridges on that replacement list, than we have money to replace at this point,” states Moon.
In the past, bridges have been built to last 50 years. Now that life-span is 75 years. But newer, doesn't automatically mean better.
Moon opines, “The Brooklyn bridge was built 137-140 years ago. Bridges can last a really long time. That’s not the issue. I think the issue is from a safety standpoint. The question is -can we keep our bridges in good working order?”
Politicians in particular and the American people in general, need to be more committed to investing in the country's infrastructure.
“We have an opportunity now, to save ourselves a lot of money. If we start putting ourselves on a better, more sustainable track. It is unsustainable right now. The condition of bridges is deteriorating and we don’t have the money to keep up with it,” informs Moon.
Like anything else, a little attention to detail, and a little money spread out over time, can go a long way.
“I can spend a few dollars each year, and I can save myself a huge sum over the the lifespan of a bridge. If I pinch pennies in the first five years, I'm setting myself up for a huge sum later on. I may have to replace that bridge 25 years before I wanted to,” says Moon.
A little attention to detail and routine work, can help us keep our bridges healthy, so that we can cross them with our children, someday.
- Japan Economy on the Road to Recovery
- Preparing for the Olympics, World Cup
- Campaign Ignited to Raise Smoking Age
- National Peace Officer's Memorial Service
- Atty. Gen. denies involvement in AP case to Congress
- Cellular Carriers: Don't text and drive
- How serious is the financial damage in Europe?
- Prince Harry Visits Seaside Heights, NJ
- Texas Town Arms Itself
- Pedestrian Traffic Deaths Increase