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Red Oaks Mill: Rt 376 Infrastructure Decay

NYS DOT’s recent Rt 376 repaving projects improved the road surface, but the infractructure seems to be crumbling apace, as we spotted on a recent walk across the bridge over Wappinger Creek:

Red Oaks Mill bridge - dangling concrete

Red Oaks Mill bridge – dangling concrete

The ragged edge of the deck shows other slivers have fallen into the creek.

My arms aren’t long enough to get a closer view:

Red Oaks Mill bridge - dangling concrete - detail

Red Oaks Mill bridge – dangling concrete – detail

The concrete roadway is developing potholes in the right hand southbound lane, so the upper surface has begun crumbling, too.

I think the bridge dates to the mid-1990s, based on the aerial photo history from Dutchess GIS, so it’s a bit over twenty years old. Nothing lasts.

Repairing stuff is hard

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  1. #1 by scruss2 on 2018-02-24 - 12:36

    That looks just like what salt damage does to reinforced concrete. Salt corrodes the rebar which then expands, causing the concrete to crack and spall. Either the sand/aggregate in the concrete pour was contaminated by salt (as in Montreal), or just huge amounts of road salt and traffic damage (as in Toronto). Either way, it won’t be pretty when viewed from underneath.

    Bridges are lovely dynamic things, and the potholes in the southbound lane are likely a wonderful convergence of bridge deck vibration modes interacting with truck suspension frequency.

    • #2 by Ed on 2018-02-24 - 13:18

      In addition, traction-enhancing grooves in the concrete deck provide a perfect salt reservoir. The slots run perpendicular to the lanes (as they must!), channeling the brine over the edges, where it can soak in. I wonder what the steel beams look like?

      Trucks produce a surprising amount of vertical motion, even in such a short span: plenty of flex in the deck!

      • #3 by RCPete on 2018-02-26 - 16:13

        I saw the bridge replacement work along Interstate 94 in Michigan a few years back. The steel beams looked pretty nasty as they were coming out. Paint versus salt; works for a while, but not forever.

        • #4 by Ed on 2018-02-26 - 18:33

          The vertical beams of Mid-Hudson Bridge show deep corrosion scars from decades of neglect. The Bridge Authority now does a better job of keeping the visible steel scaled & painted; I assume they’re preserving the under-deck ironmongery, too.

          Mid-Hudson Bridge - Beam Corrosion

  1. Corroded Concrete | The Smell of Molten Projects in the Morning

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