Bad bridges

JGFitzgerald -- August 4th, 2007

Earlier today, this site at MSNBC listed four six Harrisonburg bridges as functionally obsolete or deficient. Unfortunately the site has since placed Vermont’s counties in Virginia, so it’s hard info to find. Those interested may want to keep checking back. When it’s fixed, the info can be scary.

ETA: It’s fixed, and it’s scary. Five obsolete and one deficient. And that’s just the busy ones.

15 Responses to “Bad bridges”

  1. Laura says:

    The site is still messed up, but I bet the wooden bridge on the cross-street between Liberty and High (Water St, maybe?) in the downtown area is near the top of the list – I wonder how that thing can possibly hold traffic every time I go over it! (And try to remind myself to take a different route next time!)

  2. finnegan says:

    Water Street? The wooden bridge between the jail and the Runner’s Corner? I love that thing.

  3. David Miller says:

    The bridge on Elizabeth behind the Laundry is scheduled for complete replacement this fall.

  4. Laura says:

    Maybe I’m thinking of the one on Elizabeth…the one with all the boards that bounce up and down as you’re driving over it…

  5. David Miller says:

    That’s Water Street. It freaks me out too, especially on my motorcycle. But the damn thing has been there my whole life so either it’s an amazing bridge, or its old and needs some work.

  6. Emmy says:

    I went across the Water Street bridge today. I always forget about it and then get a little freaked out while going across it. I can’t imagine its really very safe.

  7. David Miller says:

    I just like it because it reminds me that things can still be made of wood. Don’t see that much anymore.

  8. JGFitzgerald says:

    Built over the railroad in 1910. If memory serves, the railroad owns it. The city has a schedule for replacing all its bridges in a timely fashion.

    The Times-Dispatch has a list of Virginia bridges here
    but without the Deficient and Obsolete designations the MSNBC site gives for every state except Virginia.

  9. finnegan says:

    Yeah, we’re talking about the same bridge. I like it for the sound. And what David said.

  10. Renee says:

    Well, it only lists the bridges with the heaviest traffic (10000+ vehicles a day), so it doesn’t include our small railroad bridges, but it really worries me that the one on 33 over I-81 between Cantrell and Burgess has a rating below 50. The people on CNN said under 50 is especially bad, and that’s definitely a major highway crossing in the ‘burg.

  11. David Troyer says:

    I don’t know much about bridges… but I’m going to throw out a guess that a driving surface made of wooden planks doesn’t necessarily correlate with it being unsafe. any engineers willing to back me up?

  12. Laura says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but the bridge called “.16 BLUESTN – .12 FORHILL” is the Port Road/I-81 interchange, right? Good grief, that one’s handling more traffic each day. Whenever roadwork happens in that area, JMU traffic practically ceases to move.

  13. Emmy says:

    I don’t think the fact that its made of wood makes it unsafe. I think what scares me is that I’ve lived here my whole life and I can’t remember a time it has ever been worked on. Its very possible that it has though; and perhaps its in better shape than the others. It just sounds like every plank is loose when you drive over it. For as scary as it sounds, its probably the safest bridge in the area.

  14. JGFitzgerald says:

    According to the RTD listing here, the wooden bridge was last inspected in 2004, held 2500 cars a day as of 1980, and was rated 5 or so out of 10.

  15. eso says:

    Now that’s useful information!

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