Monday, February 11, 2008

Birmingham Bridge Closed for 2 Weeks

The bridge connecting Oakland to the South Side of Pittsburgh will remain closed while crews work to repair the southbound bridgespan and pier, after part of the deck dropped nearly 8 inches early Friday morning.
PennDOT spokesman Jim Struzzi says crews are now erecting temporary shoring towers to take weight off of the 60-foot pier while they inspect under the bridge and see what repairs and replacements are needed. There is no cost estimate at this time. A complete re-inspection is nearly completed, showing a structurally sound bridge, and the dropped span is an isolated incident.
Struzzi says PennDOT was alerted to the problem after a 9-1-1 call reported a bulge on the bridge. Once the magnitude of the damage was known, the bridge was completely closed. A girder slipped off a rocker bearing, which allows the bridge to respond to temperature changes. Struzzi says nearly every bridge has rocker bearings, and there are very few problems with them that can't be anticipated by inspections.

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