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Park’s Walking Bridge Substructure on E. LaPorte Street “Fair to Poor Condition”

June 13, 2013
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  06/14/13 This spring Plymouth Park Superintendent Mike Hite decided it was time to have the five bridges under his control examined.  The five bridges are the covered bridge in Centennial Park, the Greenway Trail Bridge behind the sledding hill, the two Greenway Trail bridges on the grounds of the Conservation Clubhouse and the Walking Bridge on East LaPorte Street.  He noted that it had been 1994 or 95 the last time the two were looked at. 

  The bridge report created by USI Consultants was presented at this month’s Park Board meeting.  He told members, “All came back structurally sound.”   

  The Walking Bridge on LaPorte Street does have some issues that need to be addressed.  This is a single-span cantilevered steel trussed bridge originally built in 1898 and is on the National Registry.  The substructure was in fair to poor condition with many of the vertical beams having major rusting with some being cut and spliced.  The recommendation was for a complete engineering assessment and analysis be performed to properly determine if and what kind of rehabilitation is necessary. 

Superintendent Hite said the suggested assessment is estimated to cost $15,000 to $20,000.  He said, “We will seek grants to help with funding.”

  The Covered Bridge in Centennial Park carries traffic and pedestrians over the Elmer Seltenright Ditch. 

  The bridge is a single span precast box beam structure built in 1974. The bridge was in “generally fair condition.”  Seepage and minor leaching was noted between beams.  Beams 5 and 6 have delaminations and longitudinal cracks and are causing deterioration to the box beam.  The recommendation, with only moderate localized deterioration, future inspections should closely monitor the deterioration of beams 5 and 6. 

  The three pedestrian bridges on the Greenway Trail built in 2006 are in “generally good condition.”

  There was minor flaking rust and appropriate surface rust for weathering steel.  The timber deck was found to be in fair condition.  Because these bridges are in the flood plain and they experienced flooding conditions the inspection showed drift and debris. 

  The recommendation is that the bearing areas with drift and debris be cleaned and cleared after flood events to help prevent deterioration.   

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