bridge inspection is dirty…

A couple months ago, I posted that bridge inspection is sometimes dirty. Well, I would now like to say that bridge inspection IS dirty…

We crawl through steel pipes full of mud and water which have an opening less than 2′ high…with barely enough room to crouch down.

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verrazano-narrows bridge

Every time I pass over the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, nostalgic memories pop into my head…heading into Brooklyn to visit grandma, constantly looking up at the towers through the windows of the car in awe at the massive blue towers, looking north during clear skies to see the Statue of Liberty or the skyscrapers of Manhattan, and looking south at the neverending blue of the bay/Atlantic Ocean.

The Brooklyn Bridge is my favorite, but I hold the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge closer to my heart. Too many memories and it’s very much so one of the inspiring reasons that I’m a bridge engineer. I don’t know if I’m just bluffing, but I think I want to climb suspension cables at some point…

The Verrazano-Narrows Bridge was opened in November 21, 1964 (happy belated 46th birthday!) and carries I-278 over the Narrows, connecting the NYC boroughs of Staten Island and Brooklyn. It was designed by engineer Othmar Omman, the same engineer responsible for the George Washington Bridge, and several other NYC/NJ bridges. The bridge is named after Italian explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano. When it opened in 1964, it was the longest suspension bridge in the world, surpassing the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California.

On a slightly random but recent note, the New York City Marathon starts at the Staten Island end of the bridge. I don’t feel like I could ever run that much, but running over the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge is pretty damn enticing!

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random photos from bridge inspection

Unfortunately, I don’t live up to the “bridges” part of my blog name. I want more coverage on bridges, but I don’t want to put up certain things that might cause some controversy. Maybe you readers have ideas on how to incorporate bridges better?

I’d like the share some of the following photos with you. They’re not all of bridges, but were taken during inspections. Enjoy!

on bridges along the stretch of road leading up to the lincoln tunnel – had a LOT of fun on these ones. it also felt great to be that close to nyc.

funny graffiti – jagerbombs anyone?

interesting looking set of stairs – to prevent falling all the way down right?

creepy/funny ad – you may have seen this before
a channel flowing through what’s left of a mill – i wonder how old that concrete is…gotta be from the 1800s and still holding up!

It’s really fascinating to see the different types of structures and throughout time how the current “standard” has changed. Back then concrete encased steel bridges and stone masonry arches were common, then in the 60s and 70s, steel beams were used. Today, precast and prestressed beams are used for new construction.

yours truly – making sure all is well

crossing the musconetcong river – that current was STRONG…

Sadly, not everything you see out on inspection is pretty. I’ve seen lots of ticks (on me), snakes, huge spiders (if you’re scared of that sorta thing), roadkill, guts (non-human I hope), and some other gross/disturbing things people leave out to the side that I’d rather not mention. I’ve also heard stories of people finding bodies! Hopefully I don’t ever have to deal with that.

Oh, and sometimes you have to crawl through 2′ diameter pipes which are one sided and are over 100′ long, so it’s pitch black inside. You have to go in with just a flashlight!

It’s great to be out though, especially on days like today! Hope you enjoyed the pictures!


hill to hill bridge

The hill to hill bridge is located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. The bridge carries PA 378 over the Lehigh River and connects the north and south sides of Bethlehem. It was built in the 1920s and is made up of a concrete arch (pictured above) and a truss (barely seen to the right in the photo).

Just upstream of the hill to hill bridge, there’s an old railroad truss bridge (still active, I believe).

-Pictures taken from the north bank, west of the hill to hill bridge.

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sometimes bridge inspection is dirty…

more than a foot of muck with pools of stagnant water around.

sorry, if you lose any appetite while browsing my “food” blog.

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