Covered Bridges

meldy_nva(z6b VA)May 4, 2012

Isn't it too bad that they are out of style?

We just had a very short, very severe thunderstorm roll through the area. Listening to the radio, one (or more) of the high swooping bridges serving the I95/I495 intersection had weather-related delays stuttering traffic for miles. Yeh, there is no way I'd do any of those bridges in bad weather (feel free to call me chickn)~ something about peering over the chest-high railing at a 100-ft drop while taking the race-course slanted curves just makes my feathers shiver. Add wind, heavy rain and/or frozen precipitation and you can subtract me from the traffic.

We can send men to the moon, have real-time video-conversations with folks thousands of miles away, have a robot-driven car (okay that's still being perfected, but it's in sight), fresh strawberries in January, and so on. So why can't some of those brilliant engineering brains come up with a wind-brella type of covering for all these bridges to make them safer during storms?

Link is to some photos of the bridges. Or googgle in "Springfield Interchange" for info. Don't bother with a state - apparently this is the one and only.

Here is a link that might be useful: Springfield Interchange

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Meldy, years ago, when the Springfield interchange was fairly simple, it still spooked us when we'd use it to head south to the Outer Banks--and coming home was usually worse than going. More than once, we ended up in D.C. or took the Beltway the long way around to Rockville. Now that we live in WV, I feel like "country come to town" even when we go to Rockville. I seriously doubt I'd want to try that interchange, now--even without a storm or high winds. BTW, the storm you mentioned missed us, but we had a doozy, last night.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2012 at 4:00PM
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I shudder when I see that interchange. We used to drive on business trips here in CA, it was fine until they built an interchange with a very high and steep "C" curve, it was so unnerving that we took the long way around.
The old covered bridges were usually made of wood, and they built the cover to protect the bridge surface from the elements.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2012 at 7:02PM
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Louisville, KY, has Spaghetti Junction. I64, I65, I71 as well as 31W and the bypass are going over 2 bridges over the Ohio, a stonethrow from each other and in the mix various access and exit roads to downtown, since it is in downtown.
The Interstates all go over the Ohio, what fun.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2012 at 8:11AM
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meldy_nva(z6b VA)

I know the original covered bridges were meant to preserve the wood used as roadway; I think that's why I always wonder at the newer uncovered bridges. There seems to always be a [local] bridge being re-paved or re-surfaced due to weather-wear, at a costs that run close or into 7-digit dollars each time. So why wouldn't a cover of some sort would extend the life of the modern road surface just as it extended the life of the wood in the old bridges? Not to mention providing protection from ice and snow.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 11:02AM
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I checked and foud that they are still building covered bridges. USA's longest covered bridge, the Smolen-Gulf Bridge, Ohio. Built in 2008.
Take a ride below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Ride a covered bridge.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 3:44PM
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Thanks for the link, liked the bridge and the video almost felt like old times and my old BMW.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 10:07AM
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meldy_nva(z6b VA)

Thanks for the link,

It will be fascinating to see the ten-year cost of upkeep compared to a non-covered bridge.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 6:50PM
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