Sunday, April 5, 2015

The Thing About Bridge Repair

Here in the local area of Wiesbaden....the Schierstein Bridge repair is almost complete.  I wrote on this about six weeks ago.

There's a major new bridge construction project is underway right next to the old Schierstein Bridge (completed in 1962).  A new replacement bridge would be done around 2019.

Somewhere in the construction phase on 11 Feb 2015.....some construction guy allowed equipment underneath the old bridge to bump a column.....which triggered a crack in the old bridge and shut down traffic over the bridge for weeks.

With 90,000 cars using the bridge daily.....this shut-down turned into a massive and frustrating episode.

This week, they confirmed the repair is almost done, and testing complete.  Then they uttered the open comment with an exception.

Only cars or vehicles with 3.5 tons or less will be allowed across the bridge.  No vehicle will exceed 40 kph (half of the original speed limit).  There will be a weighing device laid out on both ends.....with some type of swing arm.  It's referred to as "weight-in-motion".....where they will assess your car's weight, then determine if you can pass over the bridge.  If you arm goes down and you must exit the road and go by some other route.

A naturally smart guy would think over this process.  A lower speed limit.....some scale measuring weight.....a "fixed" bridge which isn't really fixed?  A temp solution?  No.  They've been very careful how they announced this weight-in-motion scale and the 40 kph speed limit.  This is permanent, until the new bridge is finished.

Traffic issues?  Yeah.  There's no way that the previous 90,000 vehicles can use this bridge.  Traffic jams and stau's will be abundant.

I'm only guessing here, but this is the only 'fix' that the engineers could come up a short amount of time.  So, patiently.....people will simply have to sit and wait for 2019 to roll around....and some new bridge to replace the old bridge.

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