Bridge reports and statements differ

"It is interesting to review the engineering reports from the 2009 old bridge and compare it to council recent public statements."

It is interesting to review the engineering reports from the 2009 old bridge and compare it to council recent public statements.

In a brochure council mailed to every home in the city this year states; “Results of the old bridge’s annual examination clearly indicates the structure cannot be used in any way shape or form due to severe deterioration. Combined deficiencies to the struts piers and chords make the use of the old bridge structure for pedestrians or vehicles dangerous, Buckland and Taylor limited 2010.”

My request to city hall for a hard copy of this statement, received the following answer.

“Sorry we have no material to substantiate the statement.”

What is the above then?

The following engineering quotes are taken from the 22-page, 2009 inspection by Buckland Taylor the city’s present engineering consultant.

2009 engineering report states: “In general the extent of corrosion for all of the steel work for all three peers appears to be similar. The bridge does not show any signs of distress due to the corrosion of the steel work in the piers

Council states as follows; “complete demolition of piers and rebuilding from the ground up would be the only solution.”

The city’s engineering report  states. The 2009 diving report and videos were reviewed and qualitatively compared to the findings in 1971,2000, 2004 and 2005 diving reports.  The general condition of the underwater portion of the bridge piers appears to be unchanged since 1971. Council further states, “The piers are not reinforced and is essentially rubble in some location”

City’s engineering says “The bridge does not show any sign of distress due to the corrosion of the steel in the piers”

A city’s document states, “due to the extent of wear, repairing the old structure is not a viable financial option.”

The 2009 engineering report states, “In conclusion although the bridge is significantly substandard by current standards it appears to be in satisfactory condition for its present intended light traffic and pedestrian use.”

Continuing use in this matter is dependent on regular monitoring of the bridge condition and prompt response to repairs needed that are identified.”

Minor upgrade work that was identified and repair design completed, was not done as was committed. Council has undertaken to make public statements about the condition of the structure with no qualifications or understanding of the magnitude of the  problem.

Hope the new council will have a independent third party professional evaluation of the present structure with particular attention given to the piers to identify the magnitude of the potential problem.’

Without a safety inspection and structural analysis we will never know if or when expenditures are justified for any action or expenditure on the bridge.

The expenditure will have to be made at some time why not do it now and have the information to make the right decision for the financial future of Trail.

How creating debt of $10 million for the proposed walking bridge $ 7 million for proposed library and $4-to-$5,000,000 for upgrades to the airport will create economic growth is difficult to understand.

Prior to adding $1 million yearly payments  to our present city debt payments, I think some sober second thought must be given to all projects now being considered.

Norm Gabana

Trail