Turtle Tragedy: Raymond Avenue

Verily, ’tis the season for turtles on the move. This one clunked over the curb on Raymond Avenue at Vassar Lake, couldn’t find an escape route, and got smashed:

Smashed turtle - Raymond Ave at Vassar Lake - 2014-07-06
Smashed turtle – Raymond Ave at Vassar Lake – 2014-07-06

Turtle armor works pretty well against their usual predators, but can’t handle automobile tire impacts.

That’s a tight crop from the helmet camera, with terrible compression artifacts smearing the spalled concrete sidewalk.

For whatever reason, NYSDOT can’t do concrete sidewalks; the entire length of Raymond Avenue has lousy concrete. The fact that Vassar College B&G uses the sidewalks as their private golf-cart highway may have something to do with it, but that’s not the primary problem, because the concrete on DOT’s showcase Rt 55 between Burnett Blvd and Titusville Rd looks the same way.

5 thoughts on “Turtle Tragedy: Raymond Avenue

  1. Here in Mn we see that concrete spalling a lot…I attribute it to using too much salt/ice melt stuff.

    1. My concrete work usually looks lousy, but spalling isn’t an issue. According to a web search, trying to finish trowel a bit too early smooths the surface, but seals water under the finish layer and makes a poor bond. I usually finish trowel way too early, and don’t get a smooth surface at all. It looks horrible, but doesn’t spall. [grin]

      There are additives/protectants to make it easier to do, but I suspect the combination of low-bid contracting and semi-skilled workers means the sidewalks won’t last. I’ve seen good concrete work in the Chicago ‘burbs, and 50 years is quite doable. (A lot of the stuff was stamped with the contractor’s name and the year. Hmm.)

      1. There’s a section on US 44 (a Federal highway maintained by NYSDOT) with every other paving section spalled and the others looking just fine. Evidently, they laid alternate sections and the mix-master screwed up a batch; you’d think that would be a solved problem by now.

    1. I’ve always wondered about the layer bonding with high-viscosity (or whatever it is) concrete, even at such a high width-to-thickness ratio. It’s also zero infill with a single perimeter thread, so there’s not much resistance to impact.

      Looks like the start of a great idea, though!

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