Landmark News Service
Results are in, and the August in-depth inspection of the Milton-Madison Bridge shows no change in the superstructure’s condition.
Inspectors gave the superstructure an overall rating of 4, or poor, on a rating scale of 0-9, with 9 being excellent.
The bridge received the same rating during the biennial Fracture Critical inspection conducted in December 2008.
In December, inspectors cited a need to repair some of the bridge’s gusset plates – steel pieces that connect bridge beams and vertical and diagonal truss members. In response, the state lowered the weight restriction on the bridge to 15 tons, and repairs to gusset plates were made in July.
According to Andrea Clifford, public information officer for District 5 of the cabinet’s Department of Highways, the most recent inspection report calls for more repairs to the gusset plates and suggests increased enforcement of the 15-ton weight limit to protect the bridge from overweight vehicles.
Additionally, the report recommends immediate repairs to the vertical and diagonal truss members and the “lower chord,” a supporting portion of the superstructure located below the road deck, as well as repairs to floorbeams that show section loss and perforations.
These three items, according to the report, comprise the conditions leading the team to give the bridge a “poor” overall rating.
Eight items are including in the August deck inspection: structural condition, which received a 6; wearing surface, 6; joints, 6; drains, 7; expansion devices, 6; curbs, sidewalks, medians, 6; railings, 7; and lighting, 5.
Of these, the wearing surfaces, joints and lighting all dropped one point from the December inspection. Drains were given a one-point higher rating.
The superstructure inspection rates seven items: stringers, girders and beams, which received a 5; floorbeams, 4; trusses (main members), 4; trusses (bracing, portals) 4; bearing devices, 5; alignment of structural members, 7; deflection/vibration under load, 7; debris on members, 5.
Of these, two items had a higher rating than in December – the main member trusses earned a 3 then and a 4 rating in August, and the deflection rated one point higher, from 6 to 7. The bracing/portal trusses, however, dropped from 5 to 4.
Several items were cited as requiring attention within the next six to 12 months include cleaning and painting the structural steel with the “splash zone” to arrest further deterioration of the steel members, including bearing devices.
The inspectors also cited several components of the bridge and bridge members with signs of deterioration or perforation to be repaired or replaced.
Other items were listed for attention during the next two years.
“The report is not surprising,” David Steele, KYTC Engineer for Bridge Preservation, said in a news release accompanying the full report last week. “It confirms what we suspected; the Milton-Madison Bridge is deteriorating and needs to be replaced.”
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