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[POPULAR MECHANICS] How Fragile are Americas Bridges? - Page 3

post #21 of 89
Failing infrastructure isn't strictly an American phenomenon. It is happening everywhere. Main problem is that no matter how much engineers and scientists shout and jump up an down about maintenance it goes largely ignored. A large part of our infrastructure was designed with a life span that is in the "safe estimate" zone. The problem with the "safe zone" is that it is generally only a third of what it will most likely last. Scary thought for most people is that your local dams are most likely well beyond their projected life span; but that doesn't mean it is dangerous only that no one will be held liable if it fails.

Things now are made the same way as they always have just with better materials and more knowledge while still trying to maximize profit. It is hard for people to understand maintenance on something that will very likely outlast them without it. It becomes someone else's problem because of that. Something that has been there for 40 years and looks mostly the same is seen as indestructible. Most people have a hard time changing oil and rotating tires when needed because of the whole if it ain't broke don't fix it mindset.
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post #22 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by zomgiwin View Post

lol, people trying to defend our infrastructure, that is exactly why its so bad, you listen.

yep, not sure if its some patriotic pride thing or what, but we have serious infrastructure problems.
where i live, the county let wooden bridges, on a main freakin county road, go until you could see the water through massive gaps in the planks.
we just had another bridge completely collapse a couple months ago during heavy rain, and it was on, yet another massive county road.
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post #23 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by candy_van View Post

Tappan Zee bridge is the worst by far. Go over that in heavy traffic on a windy day, I double dog dare you.

Lol one day I swear I saw a small hole in it while I was driving.
Quote:
Originally Posted by hatlesschimp View Post

See back in the day they made things to last and they did. Now its about selling products and product life cycles. I know that the TV manufactures build TVs so they last 4 years. They believe every 4 years we will buy a new one.
Obviously Buildings and Structures like bridges are different but I'm guessing they have a town plan that has suggested that a bridge like the one that fell are only got to last x years because the population well be x by then and we will need a new one anyway.

Actually, back in the day (pre computing) they didn't have efficient means of calculating things such as resonance and forcing functions, elastic buckling of complex structures etc. Essentially, the lack of element analysis meant that they had to overbuild everything. That's a HORRIBLE way to engineer because it's wasteful in terms of time, money and materials.
post #24 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by candy_van View Post

Tappan Zee bridge is the worst by far. Go over that in heavy traffic on a windy day, I double dog dare you.
a few years ago, i drove on the tappan zee during a hurricane, the bridge was literally swerving while I was crossing it.
I'd be in the middle lane, then half a lane to the left, then half a lane to the right. The 30 MPH speed restriction didn't help at all lol

Gotta do what ya gotta do to get back to school.
post #25 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by perfectblade View Post

but if we maintain our infrastructure so that it doesn't randomly collapse, we might have to raise taxes on the wealthy very, very slightly

Christ!

Hm... on balance, I think I'd rather risk my life daily than hurt the feelings of those unhappy and unfairly-put-upon peoples. It's not fair for them.

kill them
post #26 of 89
I think our bridges are doing just fine comparably.


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post #27 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlie D Surf View Post

Lol one day I swear I saw a small hole in it while I was driving.

Lol somehow this doesn't surprise me.
I read another article somewhere saying that this bridge was one of the most structurally unsound in all the US. Good thing they're finally renovating it rolleyes.gif
Quote:
Originally Posted by azianai View Post

a few years ago, i drove on the tappan zee during a hurricane, the bridge was literally swerving while I was crossing it.
I'd be in the middle lane, then half a lane to the left, then half a lane to the right. The 30 MPH speed restriction didn't help at all lol

Gotta do what ya gotta do to get back to school.

Lol yep. Had to cross it during a blizzard once; I kissed the driveway of my campus housing when finally got home.
Out of morbid curiousity were you heading toward or away from Jersey in that? I went to Quinnipiac so I was heading toward CT.
Edited by candy_van - 6/2/13 at 9:40pm
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post #28 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kylepdalton View Post

Failing infrastructure isn't strictly an American phenomenon. It is happening everywhere. Main problem is that no matter how much engineers and scientists shout and jump up an down about maintenance it goes largely ignored. A large part of our infrastructure was designed with a life span that is in the "safe estimate" zone. The problem with the "safe zone" is that it is generally only a third of what it will most likely last. Scary thought for most people is that your local dams are most likely well beyond their projected life span; but that doesn't mean it is dangerous only that no one will be held liable if it fails.

Things now are made the same way as they always have just with better materials and more knowledge while still trying to maximize profit. It is hard for people to understand maintenance on something that will very likely outlast them without it. It becomes someone else's problem because of that. Something that has been there for 40 years and looks mostly the same is seen as indestructible. Most people have a hard time changing oil and rotating tires when needed because of the whole if it ain't broke don't fix it mindset.
its a trend that's happening to countries who have had most of their infrastructure build around WW1 and WW2. not only limitted to america. not only that but the costs of todays projects are much more today for other reasons.
Quote:
Originally Posted by hatlesschimp View Post

http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/engineering/infrastructure/just-how-fragile-are-americas-bridges-15526104


They just dont make things like they used too! weirdsmiley.gif
its a good thing too. that thing was built in the 60s-70's if i remember and back then, they were probably designing it for a 50 year lifespan as opposed to todays lifespan of 100 years. yes, i did appeal to some age fallacy somewhere in that last sentence
Quote:
Originally Posted by perfectblade View Post

but if we maintain our infrastructure so that it doesn't randomly collapse, we might have to raise taxes on the wealthy very, very slightly
they would need to raise taxes on everyone by a lot. the expected cost in getting all of our infrastructure to satisfactory rating of C according to ASCE would be at least 3.6 trillions. most of our infrastructure averages around D+. not only that but the code changes continually, which means the next iterations of codebooks and manuals in the coming years could render more and more buildings obsolete.
Edited by dontpwnmebro - 6/2/13 at 10:56pm
post #29 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daemos360 View Post

I think our bridges are doing just fine comparably.

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)


The London tower bridge was built in 1886–1894. I say for a 119 year old bridge its doing pretty damn well. Sure other bridges spanning the Thames have failed but they were not exactly in there primer anymore either. Stuff used to be built to last. But after 70s' the quality really started to go to hell. Now you have 10-20 year old bridges staring to fail. That's what you get when everything is built as cheaply as possible.
    
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post #30 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by perfectblade View Post

but if we maintain our infrastructure so that it doesn't randomly collapse, we might have to raise taxes on the wealthy very, very slightly

Yeah, or how about we use some of the billions of dollars the government wastes every year and use that to fix the bridges?
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