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Sailor

Bridges

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Between the horrific bridge collapse in downtown Minneapolis/St. Paul, and the recent U.P. threads here that showcased some new ideas for Grand Rapids' bridges, I thought I'd ask what everyone else thinks.

What shape are our bridges in?

What ideas do people have for new/revamped bridges over the river?

Are there any crossing areas where we could use an extra bridge?

-Simon

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I'm not crazy about crossing the 6th St. Bridge, especially with a line of cars behind me and another line on-coming. Seems like there should be a weight limit for that old thing.

Not that long ago, the proper bridge -crossing etiquette was to wait on the shoulder until the on-coming car passed, then take the lane and proceed through. If there was a car behind you, it was supposed to wait until you were across before proceeding. Obviously, I'm talking about skinny iron one-and-a-half-laners like 6th St; not overpass-type bridges.

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Here is the drawing of the Bridge/Michigan Street bridge:

987609234_1c95f8c61b_o.jpg

Demo of the old bridge:

987609564_72ea576aec_o.jpg

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The Burton Street bridge over US-131 scares the crap out of me. If you are sitting on it and a semi or even a larger car/SUV crosses, the whole thing shakes and shudders.

Also, I have noticed what looks like plywood under all of the bridges over 131: Does anyone know what this is for? I have assumed that it was to keep pieces of bridge from falling on the road below....and I am really hoping that I am assuming incorrectly. :blink:

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A couple of bridges comes to mind when it comes to conditions of our bridges. First is the 131 over pass at Leonard Street. One can see plywood inserted between the girders to prevent fragments of concrete from falling onto Leonard St. below. That makes me a bit nervous. The other bridge is the sixth street bridge. There is nothing really wrong with it other than the need for new asphalt on its deck. Its also quite beautiful as well. However the road deck is very narrow barely wide enough to fit two vehicles. Thus crossing this bridge can get a bit hairy at times.

As for new and recently built bridges like the S-curve, The 131/M-6 interchange and the M-6/I-96 interchange, I feel safe using these. Of course they are new. But look at how beefy the structure is. Some of those beams look like they are over 8 feet thick!

One though that just popped up is the Mackinac Bridge. How well is that bridge being maintained given the state's current budget crunch? Are the tolls enough to fund its maintenance without taping into what little money this state has in its pockets? A catastrophic collapse of that bridge would be unthinkable.

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The Burton Street bridge over US-131 scares the crap out of me. If you are sitting on it and a semi or even a larger car/SUV crosses, the whole thing shakes and shudders.

Also, I have noticed what looks like plywood under all of the bridges over 131: Does anyone know what this is for? I have assumed that it was to keep pieces of bridge from falling on the road below....and I am really hoping that I am assuming incorrectly. :blink:

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Speaking outside the lines of functionality, I would love to see a trademark bridge take the place of the next bridge to need extensive work. I think this has been discussed in previous forums, but a lighted giant the likes of Cincinnati or Pittsburgh would do wonders for the cityscape, especially at night. This would be a (relatively) low-cost alternative to aff to the skyline and panoramic views of the city without hoisting a 500 foot tower.

PS, the sixth street bridge is a little nerve-wracking, especially when Bubba is coming across at 40 mph in his 89 Suburban.

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The Burton Street bridge over US-131 scares the crap out of me. If you are sitting on it and a semi or even a larger car/SUV crosses, the whole thing shakes and shudders.

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I don't know how recently they were addressed, but the single lane exit from 131 to 196 is too narrow and always feels dangerous to me. Especially when I am looking at who is laying on the pool deck at Union Square.

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The Wealthy Street bridge over 131 does the same thing. *freaks me out!* ohmy.gif Ever since the made for tv movie about the san fransisco bridge collapsing during the earthquake years ago I get nervous about being trapped in a fallen bridge. Anyone else remember that movie?

I guess I always hoped that it has built in elasticity or something, kinda like the mackinac so that wind and ice and heavy trucks don't damage it.

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One though that just popped up is the Mackinac Bridge. How well is that bridge being maintained given the state's current budget crunch? Are the tolls enough to fund its maintenance without taping into what little money this state has in its pockets? A catastrophic collapse of that bridge would be unthinkable.

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Speaking outside the lines of functionality, I would love to see a trademark bridge take the place of the next bridge to need extensive work. I think this has been discussed in previous forums, but a lighted giant the likes of Cincinnati or Pittsburgh would do wonders for the cityscape, especially at night. This would be a (relatively) low-cost alternative to aff to the skyline and panoramic views of the city without hoisting a 500 foot tower.

PS, the sixth street bridge is a little nerve-wracking, especially when Bubba is coming across at 40 mph in his 89 Suburban.

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I was always nervous sitting in a traffic jam(aka normal rush hour times on Leonard) on Leonard St. bridge over the river. You have four lanes of traffic just sitting there, and you definetly feel the shaking of that as you sit there.

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The Burton Street bridge over US-131 scares the crap out of me. If you are sitting on it and a semi or even a larger car/SUV crosses, the whole thing shakes and shudders.

Also, I have noticed what looks like plywood under all of the bridges over 131: Does anyone know what this is for? I have assumed that it was to keep pieces of bridge from falling on the road below....and I am really hoping that I am assuming incorrectly. :blink:

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Check out this link to see a list of deficient or obsolete bridges in Michigan sorted by county. There's 60 or 70 in Kent county on the list (however, it is not just a list or road or highway bridges, some are rail bridges or other types of structures.)

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20099085

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Seems like structural engineering degree would be a wise career move right about now... :lol:

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Check out this link to see a list of deficient or obsolete bridges in Michigan sorted by county. There's 60 or 70 in Kent county on the list (however, it is not just a list or road or highway bridges, some are rail bridges or other types of structures.)

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20099085

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The list is of highway bridges. The RR listed is the RR the highway bridge is over (or Calvin College Service Drive in that case).

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It seems that the data is somewhat outdated. Some of the bridges on that list have seen major repairs and/or have been rebuilt in the past 1-2 years, such as I-96 at GTW RR, I-196 at Ottawa Ave, M-44 at the Grand River, etc. There are also many that are in the process of being rebuilt, repaired, or at least receiving routine maintenance as we speak.

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I noticed that, too, about the list: several of the bridges named have been worked on lately. Nothing too artistic (I know, loaded opinion) or iconic going on with the designs, however. I liked a couple of the bridge ideas on this thread.

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My bad. I glanced through it and saw a bunch of RR's and CSX's, etc. and made an assumption. :blush: Should've studied it a bit more before taking my life in my hands on the roads and highways of Kent County.

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The bridge that I really wish that gets rebuilt and made wider is the railroad bridge at bristol/pannel roads. The bridge is owned by the coopersville/marne train station and the city of walker did at one point offer to buy it, tear it down and turn bristol into a 4 lane road instead of that real narrow road it currently is right now.

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The bridge that I really wish that gets rebuilt and made wider is the railroad bridge at bristol/pannel roads. The bridge is owned by the coopersville/marne train station and the city of walker did at one point offer to buy it, tear it down and turn bristol into a 4 lane road instead of that real narrow road it currently is right now.

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