Saturday, December 1, 2012

The anatomy of a bridge repair

Good and bad bridge news occurred in the area yesterday.

In Chester, we got good news. The Ninth Street bridge reopened right on schedule. Across the river, bad news.  A train bridge collapsed causing a terrible chemical release and environmental  issues.

A lot of people get impatient with bridge repairs because they do take a long time. But, there’s a lot more to a bridge repair than meets the eye.

First, they just can’t blow up the old bridge and have all the rubble fall below. Bridges have to be disassembled piece by piece.

Next, the rebuilding occurs from the bottom up. Most of the work goes into the support structures which are designed far more robustly than the ones they replace.

A lot of America’s bridges are on the brink of collapse. Many of the real bad ones were built in the 1940s and 50s designed for far less traffic and far lighter vehicles. Most municipalities haven’t done regular upkeep and preventative maintenance.  ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.’

Our President has released billions of dollars to infrastructure repairs which is why there is a lot of road, highway, and bridge construction going on everywhere.

The 7th Street bridge repair right near the basketball courts heading into downtown will be Chester’s next inconvenience.

Hopefully, the bridge improvements will last for the next 50 years.


  1. awesome news about the 9th street bridge!

  2. what about the Lloyd st. bridge, it's been broken for years I mean I was going to Douglass in the 80's when this bridge needed repair now it's 2012 going into 2013. the shame of it all is ther old Mayor (Wendell Butler) lives next to the bridge and it is a eye soar, no one wants to take ownership of the bridge. the city says it's Amtrak , Amtrak says it's Chester's the bottom line is the bridge needs to be fixed before a serious accident happeneds!!!.....Lamont2086