New bridge

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  #1  
Old 04-01-13, 11:34 AM
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New bridge

As some of you might remember the one lane bridge that crosses the creek to my neighborhood is falling apart. The county final decided that a giant drain tile wouldn't work - I told them that from the get go. Well, they are getting ready to start

The county crew is currently erecting a foot bridge so the residents [11 families] will have a way in and out during construction ..... but we are in the country, 10 miles from town - not like we can walk anywhere but at least the neighborhood kids can catch the bus to school. We are being advised to park on the other side of the creek before 7:30AM Wednesday ..... but there is no room to park on the side of the road. It is feasible to park 4-5 vehicles but half would block the other half and the road crew wouldn't have access to the bridge - how's that suppose to work!!

I wouldn't mind so much but wednesday I have to take my stepson to the doctor at 11AM and at 3PM so I guess I'll leave early but not sure how I'll get back home. Park where?? and then walk 3/4 of mile up hill to the house

Ok, I'm done ranting at least we won't have to worry about the bridge swallowing up another tire ... or more and I guess whatever time they pick to fix it will inconvenient to some if not me and all of my neighbors
 
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Old 04-01-13, 11:45 AM
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Carpools? Leave just a few vehicles over there and everyone shares? ATV 4 wheelers?
 
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Old 04-01-13, 12:06 PM
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I don't see how any vehicles can stay parked over there while they are working. They had 3 trucks, 1 trailer and a backhoe that had been dropped off when I came back from town. It took about 15 minutes for the county vehicles to be moved before I could cross the bridge to go home.
 
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Old 04-01-13, 01:48 PM
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marksr I am glad they finally decided on building a new bridge. I am just wondering though are there any empty lots on the other side of the bridge maybe big enough for the equipment and with enough room for cars. I know you said no room on the street but even if there is a lot with some trees or a great deal of brush it could be cleared in a very short time. Wondering too about city services how about a county bus that could pick people up and then drive them back. The bus probably wouldn't be to everyone's schedule but at least would get you there and back.
 
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Old 04-01-13, 03:54 PM
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How many days will the work take?

Why don't they put all the equip on the other side of the bridge? Then it will be out of the way of everyone parking.
 
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Old 04-01-13, 04:05 PM
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I can attest that big drain tiles don't work. We had three 8' diameter ones under our road. This was the second time it had washed out.
 
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Old 04-01-13, 04:23 PM
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Ya, I knew that a drain tile was a mistake! I've lived here for 20+ yrs and that bridge has gone under water a half a dozen or so separate times. Once the water was over 2' higher than the bridge.

The road I live on is a one lane dead end road. The main road is a narrow 2 lane road with no shoulders. The creek runs along our side of the 2 lane road. Parts of the road have guardrails and a drop off. The narrow strip of land between the road and the creek is full of trees. They finally trimmed those trees a few months ago where branches came across the road. The only place to park would be in someones front yard which is soggy from all the rain and snow we've had this year. The workers coming and going will need all the available space for both parking their trucks and having room to work.

They claim they intend to reuse part of the old bridge but I don't understand how. The pavement has 2 basketball size holes that go all the way thru. Part of the foundation is cracked and is getting wider - maybe an inch wide No answer as to when they expect to finish but they did say they don't like to work past 5PM.

No bus services out this way, shoot we can't get pizza delivered

It's going to be a pain for me and this week is busier than most but unlike some of my neighbors - I don't have to go to work everyday. Not sure what some of them are going to do.
 
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Old 04-01-13, 06:06 PM
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Mark, it is all a matter of trade-offs. Living out in the sticks gets you away from municipal sewage treatment and its high cost but you then have to maintain a septic tank. You get away from municipal water supply but you have to have a well and all its attendant problems. You get away from the noise and stink of other people but you have to contend with other problems.

Prior to my retirement I thought I would move to a rural section of southwest Washington. The more I researched it and the more I learned about wells, septic tanks, minimal healthcare facilities close by, lesser transportation options, lower quality Internet options and all the rest the more staying in my paid-for home in the suburbs looked like a better option for me.

I pay what I think is an outrageous amount for sewer service but I know I will never have to pay for a collapsed drain field or septic tank replacement. My water bill is fairly reasonable and I will never have to pay for a failed pumping system or well gone dry. I don't even have to periodically test my water.

My electricity is about as reliable as it can be and even when an outage occurs it rarely takes long to repair, can people living at the end of a private road say the same?

It is the same with almost everything and your road and bridge problems simply illustrate that fact.
 
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Old 04-01-13, 06:57 PM
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How many days will the work take?
Andrew......this is a state DOT project most likely. It is the only job in the world that has a guaranteed longevity. You work for the DOT, you have a job every day doing something. Of course you have to count the hats and their colors. White = supervisors....usually 3 or 4 on site most of the time. Yellow = project managers...usually 3 on site. Blue = workers. Sometimes only 1 or 2 on site with machinery and shovels.
 
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Old 04-01-13, 07:21 PM
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LMAO -

I crossed a small (25' span?), culvert style bridge every day to get to work. The state DOT inspector decided it needed replacement. Having to go around almost doubled my drive time. Start to finish on the replacement was 1 1/2 years. So good luck Mark.

Furd - Different strokes. I live in the sticks by choice. I have a well that has required maintenance once in nearly 30 years. It cost me $100 twenty years ago. I pay a couple of hundred every 5-6 years to get my septic pumped. Up until the last 2 years we have never had a power failure that lasted more than an hour or two.

The important thing - no neighbor noise, no boom boxes blaring or garage bands tuning up. No unsupervised kids in my stuff, no dogs barking, no traffic, I can sit on my deck most evenings and hear nothing but crickets. I sleep at night with the windows open and the only noise I hear are songbirds in the morning.
 
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Old 04-02-13, 03:34 AM
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I also prefer the sticks although the low land is pretty crowded. I have 16 acres but less than 1000' road frontage, I doubt I have 1 acre that is flat. Speaking of septic tanks, mine needs to be pumped but I can't find a septic service willing to come up my road. I had one guy lined up a few years ago but he died and his business closed their door. My road is steep but I've had tri axle dump trucks and block trucks go up it along with a concrete truck but many drivers are intimidated when they look at the road

The road I live on along with the bridge is county maintained. The bridge was privately built sometime in the 70's when the old wooden bridge washed away. It's my understanding the residents then took the county to court to get reimbursed. It's a short bridge [20'-25'] and 12' wide. Since I moved here in 1991 the only thing the county has done to the bridge was replace the guardrails a few yrs back..... and that took 5 county trucks and 2 supervisors

Another dreadful thought that crossed my mind last night is what happens if there is a fire? Since I've lived here there have been 2 house fires and 3 brush fires.
 
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Old 04-02-13, 05:11 AM
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Hi marksr,
Reading the thread, I had to chuckle about the typical 2 workers, 4 supervisors, and 6 truck approach we see all too often. Even if those are the people needed, they need to learn to keep busy and not look like they are just standing around.

On a positive note, the university of Maine has done a lot of work with composite materials and one of their success stories is called "Bridge-in-a-Backpack ". I have no real knowledge about how they go together, but from my reading, faster, longer lasting, and less expensive. I'm sure it is too late to change direction on the current one being discussed, but an interesting concept for future ones. According to a recent article they have received code approval that makes them eligible for federal funds.

Also, on the fire issue, it might be possible to park an old pump truck on your side during construction, just in case. Mutual aide often covers these types of situations. Plus it might speed up the construction process.

Bud
 
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Old 04-02-13, 05:14 AM
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My road was out for over a year before repairs ever started. Really bad was a year+ into it when a culvert washed out on my alternate route making the drive into town even worse. But once they started working things moved along.... very slowly.

Funniest was when they were setting up a large crane to handle the 30 ton some pre-cast concrete pieces. There was no room for turn around and of course it's at the bottom of a valley. They drove the crane in then the flat beds carrying the counterweights would turn around at the nearest intersection and back all the way down the road to the crane. One driver thought he would save time and unchained the load when he turned around. Backing down the valley he touched his brakes and two 10 ton counterweights slid off the trailer blocking the road. Lots of equipment, trucks and people around and nothing that could lift the weights out of the road. They had to clear the trucks and vehicles off the road to make room for the crane drove in from Raleigh to get the weights out of the road. Eventually they got back to real work.

 
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Old 04-02-13, 05:14 AM
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We live in the country, with well, septic, no cable, no gas, etc., and not much more than a two track, but at least it's a through road, so we have choices getting in and out. I don't know, maybe 15 years ago, we got a notice that the county was going to replace the bridge over the creek about a quarter mile down the road from us; just a general notice, "sorry for the inconvenience, you might try using this route instead of that one, demolition is expected to begin XX/XX, construction is scheduled to begin XX/XX, should be reopened XX/XX, blah, blah, blah". Okay, I was glad to hear that, but I still laugh when I think of some of the neighbors complaining about the time that it would take; "why so long", "you'd think they could do it faster", etc. Well, the irony of the comments was that the bridge had been condemned and barrricaded, no way to access it with any form or motorized vehicle, for at least 10 years at that point! A country road, and nobody was trapped, so for 10 years it just kept getting moved down the list.
 
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Old 04-02-13, 05:52 AM
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All our local fire depts are volunteer and I doubt they have any equipment to spare.

The county road dept has changed their mind/story several times so I don't know for sure what they are going to do or how long it will take - but the bridge must be replaced or rebuilt! My wife called on her way to work this morning and said they parked a 'machine' [probably the backhoe] in a place that makes it difficult to cross the bridge and get to the 2 lane.... and the foot bridge doesn't have a railing.

I've got to leave out in a little bit so I'll no more when I get down to the creek. I just hope the county road crew eats their wheaties and puts on their thinking caps everyday until they are done!
 
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Old 04-02-13, 07:43 AM
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A few years back a bridge to a small community out in the county got so bad the fire department would not respond because the bridge wasn't safe for the trucks. The country wouldn't replace the bridge because they said they didn't own it. The original contractor who built the community 40 or 50 years ago was long gone but still owned it. The county kept saying by state law they couldn't repair or replace a privately owned bridge. Never heard how they resolved but always wondered why they didn't exercise eminent domain. Apparently catch 22, no one left to file against
 
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Old 04-02-13, 07:45 AM
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Sounds like a mess to me. What are their plans if someone needs an ambulance?
 
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Old 04-02-13, 09:06 AM
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What are their plans if someone needs an ambulance?
The ambulance could go only as far as the bridge. Real mess. I don't know how it ever came out.
 
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Old 04-02-13, 09:26 AM
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Sounds like the county didn't want spend money and made excuses. If the contractor owned it, then there would be some tax due on it. If taxes weren't getting paid, the property could be seized. When the contractor died, the property would have gone to his heirs. If there were none, it would belong to the state.
 
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Old 04-02-13, 09:27 AM
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With my road and it's repair it was in the contract that the road could not be closed or blocked for 911 access. There is one house near the site and they had to pull back all their equipment and material at the end of the day to keep the road open to that one house. When they dropped the counter weights in the road it was already the end of the day and they had to have a crane brought in immediately and pay short notice and overtime for it. I think they said the crane billed for almost 6 hours with driving time & setup but took only 10 minutes to lift the weight. That little snafu probably cost 2k.
 
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Old 04-02-13, 10:43 AM
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Sounds like the county didn't want spend money and made excuses.
That was what I suspected. Any time the county attorney was interviewed she just kept repeating the state law to any question asked. May try to look it up later but I think it was pre internet.
 
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Old 04-02-13, 11:21 AM
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If I were younger and didn't have the health problems I do I might enjoy living right in the middle of a 20 acre tract. I do live in a fairly quiet cul-de-sac and because of the lay of the land I am reasonably isolated from all but one neighbor. I have an Interstate highway less than a half-mile away but enough buffer that the noise is more like the ocean surf. I live right on the edge of a 35 acre urban forest so I get a fair amount of wildlife action but not so much as to be a bother to my cats.

The neighbor behind me did have some very obnoxious dogs but I haven't heard them for at least a year so either they got rid of them or the dogs have mellowed with old age. For the first couple of years I lived here there was a garage band that would practice from about 4 to 5:30 in the afternoon but I haven't heard them in several years. Of course I still have the noise of people using power tools and gasoline lawn mowers but unless I were to have a wide buffer that could also happen in a rural setting.

I have two major hospitals within 20 minute driving range, excellent fire and EMS service with a response time of less than five minutes. A class A trauma center maybe 45 minutes away or closer if air-lifted. Several medical clinics within a 10 to 20 minute drive. A major mall within 20 minutes drive and all roads are paved and reasonably well maintained. Two major expressways, one within five minutes of my house and it connects with the other within another ten minutes or less. I also have fiber-optic Internet, something that I think is fairly rare outside of urban areas.

True, I DO have more regulation than in rural areas. I can't have a bunch of derelict cars all over my property, I can't raise chickens or other livestock, I can't have any open fires or burn barrels and I can't do any target practice in my back yard. But the truth of the matter is, I don't have any desire to do ANY of those things so it is not a negative. Also, I DO have a gun range about 20 minutes away if I get the urge to do some plinking.

I understand about wanting to get away from the city. I lived in Seattle for my first 26 years and once I moved out I vowed I would NEVER return. I still feel that way, probably even more so since Seattle now has such a high crime problem along with a high cost of living. I moved to my present home in December of 1999 and I still like this place as much, if not more so, than I did when I first moved.
 
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Old 04-02-13, 04:20 PM
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IMO you can't live in town, exist maybe I do utilize a burn barrel. I refuse to drag a roll it can better than 1/2 mile every week so the trash man can pick it up. The only place to put the can is at the end of my driveway next to the one from across the road. For the last month everyone with trash service has to drag their cans across the bridge and line them up along the 2 lane road.

Got more info on the bridge this afternoon. They worked all day today but from the truck I can't tell that they did anything. I talked to their supervisor and he said tomorrow they will knock the deck down, install new beams and weld down a metal deck. If they have time they'll lay asphalt over the metal deck tomorrow, otherwise they'll have to come back and do it. He said they will repair the foundation later One 'ear' of the foundation has a crack that appears to be at least 1" wide and about 3' long, can't tell how deep but it looks to go in pretty far. The foundation is concrete filled cinder block. Maybe I'm just a dumb painter but I always thought you fixed the foundation first.

He did say that we can cross the bridge by 6PM tomorrow evening - keeping my fingers crossed
 
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Old 04-02-13, 04:50 PM
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Few pictures would be nice.
 
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Old 04-02-13, 05:28 PM
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Maybe I'm just a dumb painter but I always thought you fixed the foundation first.
A little putty and paint, make it what it ain't! HAHAH
 
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Old 04-03-13, 03:40 PM
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This was a little after 7AM




5:45PM




Hopefully the pics loaded right. The barrels sure make it difficult to drive across the bridge but at least I was able to come home It's suppose to rain tomorrow and awhile back the county road dept quit working on Fridays as cost saving measure so I'm not sure what happens from here on - but at least we can get in and out!

I'm familiar with concrete bridges getting asphalt applied over the concrete when the concrete starts showing it's age but this is the first time I've seen asphalt being laid directly to the metal decking. It looks like they didn't bother to roll it because the tire tracks are definitely lower than the rest of the asphalt.

Couldn't get it figured out how to get the pics to post but here's the links

002.jpg Photo by markhamsr | Photobucket
003.jpg Photo by markhamsr | Photobucket
 

Last edited by Pilot Dane; 04-03-13 at 05:29 PM. Reason: Tweaked to get photos to work.
  #27  
Old 04-04-13, 05:03 AM
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I would imagine the barrels are there till they get the guard rails back up. At least an ambulance can get through if you fall off the roof or something.

Thanks for the pictures. In photobucket just copy and paste the 'img' code to the forum, it's on the right side now.
 
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Old 04-04-13, 05:13 AM
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If an ambulance or fire truck crosses the bridge I'd expect those barrels would go swimming. Between the barrels and the trac hoe it's a tight turn. I never have understood why the bridge was placed at that location when it would have made more sense for it to be further down the creek ..... to move the location now would take away someone's front yard. It was unused land up until about 8 yrs ago.
 
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Old 04-04-13, 02:32 PM
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It looks to me like maybe they should take a small bit of property and then widen the bridge. It might make someone mad for a while but it will make the community safer as it would allow for larger vehicles to cross without any problems. Makes it easier for the home owner too in the long run.
 
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Old 04-04-13, 03:08 PM
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The width of the bridge isn't bad [12' wide] although the sharp turn right after the bridge can be challenging when pulling a trailer

They were working first thing this morning; added another layer of asphalt and used a roller, they also packed asphalt along the sides of the bridge's foundations. I guess that's suppose to shore up the cracking foundation. It looks like the asphalt goes all the way down. It's been raining since 10AM, I don't know how high the creek has gotten or what effect it will have on that asphalt.

Still no guardrails but they moved the trac hoe out of the way
 
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Old 04-04-13, 03:16 PM
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Army Corp of Engineers (my nephew is a Capt in it) would have had it done in 2 days. Rip out the old, drive piles, have a CH-47 come in and drop a prefab bridge, bolt it down and done.

Who needs paving for that short little span?

Kinda surprised they didn't explore that option (ANG assistance I mean)...good training mission.
 
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Old 04-04-13, 04:08 PM
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Army Corp of Engineers would have probably built a better bridge - but it'd probably cost more too.
I don't know how many [if any] bridges the county road crew has built. I suspect it was more on the job training than anything else. Part of the delay may have been them trying to figure out how to do it.

Who needs paving for that short little span?
The steel deck is 12' wide and 18'-20' long. Maybe they needed the asphalt to hide their welding job When I first heard they were going to replace the steel I kind of thought they would use those grates like they used to use on those old bridges. I would think it would last longer and less likely to ice up in the winter.
 
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Old 04-04-13, 04:12 PM
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Exactly what I meant about the grates. No maintenance needed. I remember a causeway you had to cross to get to Mare Island.....it was the same when I went over it last time as the first time 20 years earlier.
 
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Old 04-04-13, 04:20 PM
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Remember the sound the tires made when crossing those bridges? There was one near our local airport but they replaced that bridge a couple of years ago. I know the new bridges are safer and wider but those old bridges looked neat!
 
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Old 04-04-13, 07:44 PM
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I have nothing against the Army Corps of Engineers but I know sometimes it isn't so much what a community pays back to them in money but some of the requirements before they even get started. As an example of that my Dads gas station that he rented in a franchise years before retiring was and still is near the University Of Maryland. Years ago the creek near the station flooded and caused muddy flood water to go as far as the station.

There was a big community of a great deal of homes called Lakeland, well after the Army Corps Of Engineers was done most of those people had to move and they wanted all of the houses within a certain number of feet removed and torn down. All of the home owners were informed of that and their homes were bought by the Army Corps Of Engineers so no one lost out but it was still hard especially on the older people who lived there. Ever since they dredged the lake though and did their repairs there hasn't been a flood since so they do quality work. I think the flooding happened during hurricane Agnes but can't be sure.
 
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Old 04-05-13, 04:03 AM
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IMHO, repairing a failing bridge in a curve doesn't make much sense. I know it would have ruffled feathers regarding property easements, but wouldn't removing such a structure, straightening the road a little and installing a proper bridge been a better idea??
 
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Old 04-05-13, 04:13 AM
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But Larry, that would have made too much sense, after all we are talking about a branch of the gov't

It probably had more to do about money than anything else. I was originally told they were going to rip out the bridge and install a giant drain tile because that was the cheapest fix. At least with the old bridge rebuilt we don't have to worry about flood waters washing it away.
 
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Old 04-05-13, 04:55 AM
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For my bridge part of why it took over a year for them to even start work was the study ($$$) to determine if a bridge, drain pipes or pre cast concrete culvert would be better. Then it went out for bids. They threw out the drain pipes idea because that had failed twice already and choose the pre cast concrete culvert because it was the cheapest bid. When I talked to the site engineer the very first day he said. "...that won the contract for being cheapest...it also has the highest number of variables and risk... so watch, in the end the culvert will take twice as long as expected and will end up costing more than a proper bridge..." Sure enough he was right.
 
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Old 04-11-13, 03:47 PM
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update

The bridge is almost finished Best I can tell all they lack is pouring the repairs to the footer/foundation. They spent most of this week making the deck wider and adding asphalt, installing the guardrails, filling the wide crack with mortar and applying stucco to the old cinder block.

They even cleaned the ditches on our road although if any of us had run a trac hoe down the 22 yr old pavement they would have raised cain While working on the bridge they managed to uncover the water line that services our holler, where it runs thru the creek ..... but at least it should be a long time before we have an extended period of below freezing temps.

Maybe they will be finished sometime next week
 
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