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(WTKR)   Rest easy Hatteras Island residents - the state says the only bridge to your island needs immediate repair, but is perfectly fine to drive on   (wtkr.com) divider line 62
    More: Scary, Hatteras Island, repairs, islands  
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3794 clicks; posted to Main » on 03 Dec 2013 at 9:57 AM (37 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-12-03 09:59:54 AM
No problem..

cdn2.screenjunkies.com

/yes, I RTFA
 
2013-12-03 10:02:20 AM
Our bridge would have been rebuilt years ago, but The southern environmental law center keeps suing to prevent this vital link from being replaced, .  This group sues in the name of radical environmentalism, and reaps huge amounts of cash from the government, while putting the lives and lively hoods of the residents in jeopardy.  Sad state of affairs.
 
2013-12-03 10:03:55 AM
 
2013-12-03 10:04:01 AM
Some of the piers have increased scour around their base; that's the 'immediate repairs' TFA is talking about. Is it serious? Sure, you don't want that to continue to the point where the piers get washed out. But, the piers are embedded dozens of feet in the sand. Does it mean the bridge is in danger of collapsing? Absolutely not.

/TFA's melodramatic headline is melodramatic
//does everything have to be sensationalistic?
 
2013-12-03 10:07:58 AM
Now how am I supposed to get $9 milk and boiled goobers?
 
2013-12-03 10:09:46 AM

Bendal: Some of the piers have increased scour around their base; that's the 'immediate repairs' TFA is talking about. Is it serious? Sure, you don't want that to continue to the point where the piers get washed out. But, the piers are embedded dozens of feet in the sand. Does it mean the bridge is in danger of collapsing? Absolutely not.

/TFA's melodramatic headline is melodramatic
//does everything have to be sensationalistic?


For what its worth I spoke to someone in the know last summer about the bridge.  He said that during a recent inspection divers were able to swim under some of the bridge supports, that is that they are hardly if at all resting on anything down there.  The bridge supposedly got a 2 on that inspection.  That's out of 100 not ten, by the way.
 
2013-12-03 10:13:42 AM
electricearl.com
 
2013-12-03 10:14:22 AM
Attention Motorists: If your vehicle is flung into the deep, cold water along with tons of concrete and debris, please immediately text "AAAAAAIIIEEEEEEEE" to the NCDOT at 74847 so we can schedule a team to reevaluate road conditions on the bridge.  Thank you.
 
2013-12-03 10:15:49 AM

geocacherphil: Our bridge would have been rebuilt years ago, but The southern environmental law center keeps suing to prevent this vital link from being replaced, .  This group sues in the name of radical environmentalism, and reaps huge amounts of cash from the government, while putting the lives and lively hoods of the residents in jeopardy.  Sad state of affairs.


That. And I'm pro-environment. The SELC is a bunch of radicals.
 
2013-12-03 10:15:57 AM
geocacherphil


Our bridge would have been rebuilt years ago, but The southern environmental law center keeps suing to prevent this vital link from being replaced, . This group sues in the name of radical environmentalism, and reaps huge amounts of cash from the government, while putting the lives and lively hoods of the residents in jeopardy. Sad state of affairs.

They keep making cash by being in litigation, this is the American way.
 
2013-12-03 10:19:28 AM

Bendal: Some of the piers have increased scour around their base; that's the 'immediate repairs' TFA is talking about. Is it serious? Sure, you don't want that to continue to the point where the piers get washed out. But, the piers are embedded dozens of feet in the sand. Does it mean the bridge is in danger of collapsing? Absolutely not.

/TFA's melodramatic headline is melodramatic
//does everything have to be sensationalistic?


To be fair, Hatteras got lucky this year. Usually they get the brunt of at least one hurricane a season. Even ones that don't make it to the mainland will knock the Outer Banks around for a bit.

That said, people who live there know the risks and usually take pride in them. Also, if the bridge fails they still have the ferry. It wouldn't be unprecedented. The road the bridge attaches to has washed out before and they had to use the ferry exclusively for a while.
 
2013-12-03 10:20:23 AM
Could be worse. It could be a bridge used by 71,000 people every day on the arterial road of a region populated by millions of people and be prone to collapsing after somebody bumps into it and keeps going.
 
2013-12-03 10:20:38 AM
About a tenth of bridges in America are potentially dangerous and in need of repair; it's the new normal.

/not like we have a problem with unemployment or anything
 
DVD
2013-12-03 10:21:37 AM
It's an extreme left wing environmental group that's been stopping the bridge repair?  And being North Carolina, there's always the potential of having an extreme right wing anti-tax group stopping the repairs because it would use tax dollars when it should be sold to a private bidder (who can then set tolls to any level desired).

Or a moderate legislature could push through the repairs in the name of the public good, even in North Carolina?
 
2013-12-03 10:22:26 AM
The nation as a whole gets a C+ for bridges. That's at least passing, so we're good.
 
2013-12-03 10:23:42 AM
Routine sonar scanning of the bridge recently identified additional scouring, or areas where sand has eroded from the support structures of the bridge.


Nice.. so we can just pull up in a boat with and drop a hose and pump water and blow all the sand out from under the pilings?   Sounds like you can do that on one moonless night and just wait for the inevitable breaking of the bridge.
 
2013-12-03 10:24:58 AM

Random Anonymous Blackmail: geocacherphil


Our bridge would have been rebuilt years ago, but The southern environmental law center keeps suing to prevent this vital link from being replaced, . This group sues in the name of radical environmentalism, and reaps huge amounts of cash from the government, while putting the lives and lively hoods of the residents in jeopardy. Sad state of affairs.

They keep making cash by being in litigation, this is the American way.


How is it they make cash from the gov't?   Is the gov't paying people to sue it?
 
2013-12-03 10:27:37 AM
Why repair a bridge when we can have a real news story like this?
lh3.ggpht.com

I mean, who cares if a few people die. Think of the RATINGS! Even better, Since it's the only bridge to the island, there won't be a bidding process to re-build the bridge, meaning that some politician can make a shiatload of money off the disaster.

We know all about our failing bridges and nobody does anything. From Wikipedia...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Bridge_Inventory

It also classifies bridges as either "structurally deficient" or "functionally obsolete". Neither necessarily implies lack of safety, though that could be a concern as well. "Structurally deficient" means that the condition of the bridge includes a significant defect, which often means that speed or weight limits must be put on the bridge to ensure safety; a structural evaluation of 4 or lower qualifies a bridge as "structurally deficient". The designation can also apply if the approaches flood regularly. "Functionally obsolete" means that the design of a bridge is not suitable for its current use, such as lack of safety shoulders or the inability to handle current traffic volume, speed, size, or weight.

In December 2008, 72,868 bridges in the United States (12.1%) were categorized as "structurally deficient", representing an estimated $48 billion in repairs, and 89,024 (12.2%) were rated "functionally obsolete", representing an estimated $91 billion in replacement costs.

Some bridges are also identified as "fracture critical", which means that (usually due to low-cost design) the failure of any one main structural member will cause a significant portion or the entire bridge to collapse. Such designs were discontinued in the 1970s. Fracture critical designs can leave bridges vulnerable to collisions with ships or large trucks, as in the I-5 Skagit River Bridge collapse.

/I've got a bridge near me that is held up only by wooden cribbing. The cement pillars have cracked and rotted all the way down to the rebar.
//No ETA on repairs beginning.
 
2013-12-03 10:27:56 AM
Where's that confounded bridge?
 
2013-12-03 10:29:27 AM
And if you think bridges are scary.  You should look up the statistics on how many dams in America are one torrential downpour from washing away a nearby town.
 
2013-12-03 10:32:07 AM
Why wasn't this bridge repaired when Barry wanted $1 trillion of stimulus to fix all our bridges?
 
2013-12-03 10:35:55 AM
images.hemmings.com

All island residents should have one of these. problem solved.
 
2013-12-03 10:36:49 AM

Nutsac_Jim: Why wasn't this bridge repaired when Barry wanted $1 trillion of stimulus to fix all our bridges?


bobcesca.thedailybanter.com
 
2013-12-03 11:04:42 AM

Nutsac_Jim: Barry


*chug*
 
2013-12-03 11:20:58 AM
www.actiontoys.com
Don't worry, i got this.
 
2013-12-03 11:21:00 AM
Hatteras?

Yeah, back when I was at college with her.
 
2013-12-03 11:35:41 AM

Nutsac_Jim: Why wasn't this bridge repaired when Barry wanted $1 trillion of stimulus to fix all our bridges?


It wasn't "Shovel Ready".
 
2013-12-03 11:48:25 AM
Luckily - there are these

olive-drab.com
 
2013-12-03 11:56:10 AM
Since that I35 bridge collapse, seems like every bridge I drive on has been rebuilt.  Kinda crazy that such a huge number of bridges were in such disrepair and it took fatalities before anyone did something.
 
2013-12-03 11:58:43 AM

echomike23: [www.actiontoys.com image 599x382]
Don't worry, i got this.


Oh man, that was an awesome x-mas present back in the day.
 
2013-12-03 12:00:46 PM

Speef: Attention Motorists: If your vehicle is flung into the deep, cold water along with tons of concrete and debris, please immediately text "AAAAAAIIIEEEEEEEE" to the NCDOT at 74847 so we can schedule a team to reevaluate road conditions on the bridge.  Thank you.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0usJCEUgWyM
0118998881999119725 3
 
2013-12-03 12:00:51 PM

Ring of Fire: Bendal: Some of the piers have increased scour around their base; that's the 'immediate repairs' TFA is talking about. Is it serious? Sure, you don't want that to continue to the point where the piers get washed out. But, the piers are embedded dozens of feet in the sand. Does it mean the bridge is in danger of collapsing? Absolutely not.

/TFA's melodramatic headline is melodramatic
//does everything have to be sensationalistic?

For what its worth I spoke to someone in the know last summer about the bridge.  He said that during a recent inspection divers were able to swim under some of the bridge supports, that is that they are hardly if at all resting on anything down there.  The bridge supposedly got a 2 on that inspection.  That's out of 100 not ten, by the way.



I'm well aware of the sufficiency rating of bridges, thank you. I deal with that rating system every day. A '2' rating for a bridge does not mean "OMG THE BRIDGE IS GOING TO COLLAPSE ANY TIME NOW!!!", it means "hey we need to do something soon about this bridge, or we'll have to lower the weight limit on it".

Like I said, piers with insufficient sand surrounding them are a problem, but even if a few are exposed that doesn't mean the bridge is about to fall in. It does mean NC needs to get the new bridge construction begun soon, because the annual maintenance for the current bridge is becoming very, very expensive.
 
2013-12-03 12:02:24 PM
Hatteras gotta...  I dunno... hatt.

Gotta nothin
 
2013-12-03 12:12:06 PM

generallyso: Could be worse. It could be a bridge used by 71,000 people every day on the arterial road of a region populated by millions of people and be prone to collapsing after somebody bumps into it and keeps going.


Well then you'd have the tax money of 71,000 tax payers to use for a solution.
 
2013-12-03 12:15:49 PM
unless McCrory or some of the repug Assembly have houses on Hatteras, you can bet this is not going to happen any time soon. They are too busy reaping massive profits for their cronies. They are not going to worry about a little thing like infrastructure... again, unless they themselves are personally impacted. I would think after recent events, that would be obvious.

/yet more tears for my once great state...
 
2013-12-03 12:17:32 PM
Sooner or later, Hatteras will become unreachable by land. The NC barrier islands are all temporary - what's wrong with a local or county tax for a bridge update?

Oh, they can't afford it, eh? Residents of Okracoke Island heard chuckling from the other side of Hatteras Inlet.
 
2013-12-03 12:23:19 PM

payattention: unless McCrory or some of the repug Assembly have houses on Hatteras, you can bet this is not going to happen any time soon. They are too busy reaping massive profits for their cronies. They are not going to worry about a little thing like infrastructure... again, unless they themselves are personally impacted. I would think after recent events, that would be obvious.

/yet more tears for my once great state...



Thing is, McCrory just enacted a new evaluation process that NCDOT is now required to use to 'rank' highway projects to make sure the money goes where it is needed. Safety, cost, traffic use, environmental impacts, etc, are all thrown in the ranking process to presumably end up with a list of projects that need the work done the most. ISTM that about every 10 years or so, a new incoming Governor has this great idea on how to do this, and every time those of us actually working on the projects never see much change in how they're prioritized. According to McCrory, this time though they really are going to change the "Equity Formula"  (the process that divided the highway construction money equally across the state) so the money would go where it's needed the most (basically the growing urban areas). Last time someone tried to do that, all the rural legislators suddenly realized the highway money going to their counties was going to dry up and vanish, and it was quietly and quickly killed off.

/there are more rural legislators than urban ones
//they like the highway money going to their rural counties
///Bonner Bridge desperately needs replacing though
////replacement project is somewhere above $300m IIRC though
 
2013-12-03 12:25:58 PM

ph0rk: Sooner or later, Hatteras will become unreachable by land. The NC barrier islands are all temporary - what's wrong with a local or county tax for a bridge update?

Oh, they can't afford it, eh? Residents of Okracoke Island heard chuckling from the other side of Hatteras Inlet.



The number of visitors to Ocracoke Island in a season is barely more than the number that cross the Bonner Bridge in one day of peak summer traffic. That's why Ocracoke has a ferry and Pea Island does not. I was hoping that the Bonner Bridge replacement would be tolled though, with an exemption for residents living on Pea Island, but too much political opposition to that.

/Bonner Bridge is the most exposed bridge to the ocean on the East Coast
 
2013-12-03 12:26:57 PM
On your next trip to or from work pay attention to how many bridges you cross.  Then consider the following.  If you take your hands off the wheel and hold them up in the car when going over a bridge it wont collapse.
 
2013-12-03 12:40:53 PM

geocacherphil: Our bridge would have been rebuilt years ago, but The southern environmental law center keeps suing to prevent this vital link from being replaced, .  This group sues in the name of radical environmentalism, and reaps huge amounts of cash from the government, while putting the lives and lively hoods of the residents in jeopardy.  Sad state of affairs.


I suspect that the environmental group ultimately wants there to not be any residents there.

It's not an entirely unjustified position, of course.  Those are barrier islands, and not really good places for people to live.  In some ways, it would make sense to simply abandon the islands.  And if you do that, the bridge becomes much less vital.

And yes, I've been there.  It's a really relaxing place to visit, plenty of good seafood, and some interesting history there.  But maybe it would be better to make those islands a national park.
 
2013-12-03 12:47:07 PM

geocacherphil: Our bridge would have been rebuilt years ago, but The southern environmental law center keeps suing to prevent this vital link from being replaced, .  This group sues in the name of radical environmentalism, and reaps huge amounts of cash from the government, while putting the lives and lively hoods of the residents in jeopardy.  Sad state of affairs.



The SELC has held up the process for roughly 2 years (starting in 2011).  The process for bridge replacement began in 1989.

So, just to be clear, you're blaming the SELC for a 2 year delay after TWENTY TWO years had already elapsed on the project.  That, and when we use the phrase "years ago", we typically refer to dates that are a little more distant than 2 years ago.

Overall, your statement was pretty disingenuous.
 
2013-12-03 12:48:10 PM

Bendal: Ring of Fire: Bendal: Some of the piers have increased scour around their base; that's the 'immediate repairs' TFA is talking about. Is it serious? Sure, you don't want that to continue to the point where the piers get washed out. But, the piers are embedded dozens of feet in the sand. Does it mean the bridge is in danger of collapsing? Absolutely not.

/TFA's melodramatic headline is melodramatic
//does everything have to be sensationalistic?

For what its worth I spoke to someone in the know last summer about the bridge.  He said that during a recent inspection divers were able to swim under some of the bridge supports, that is that they are hardly if at all resting on anything down there.  The bridge supposedly got a 2 on that inspection.  That's out of 100 not ten, by the way.


I'm well aware of the sufficiency rating of bridges, thank you. I deal with that rating system every day. A '2' rating for a bridge does not mean "OMG THE BRIDGE IS GOING TO COLLAPSE ANY TIME NOW!!!", it means "hey we need to do something soon about this bridge, or we'll have to lower the weight limit on it".


What? Not collapsing Real Soon Now? I've been hearing that bit about swimming under the piers of the bridge since the early 70s, when I lived just north of the bridge and had to use it most days to get to work/surf. Eventually I came to realize it was one of those things the locals told tourists.

Anyway, the topic of The Bridge is one of those items (like vehicle access to NPS) you only discuss with family or close friends in places like Kitty Hawk, else you end up with someone shouting in your face that you're a radical environmentalist or a Rethuglican.

/Francis Meekins swore the bridge was going to collapse by 1980
//square groupers!
 
2013-12-03 12:52:39 PM

Speef: Attention Motorists: If your vehicle is flung into the deep, cold water along with tons of concrete and debris, please immediately text "AAAAAAIIIEEEEEEEE" to the NCDOT at 74847 so we can schedule a team to reevaluate road conditions on the bridge.  Thank you.


He must have died while texting it.

Come on!

That's what it says!

Look, if he was dying, he wouldn't bother to text "AAAAAAIIIEEEEEEEE".  He'd just say it.
 
2013-12-03 12:55:01 PM

JK47: geocacherphil: Our bridge would have been rebuilt years ago, but The southern environmental law center keeps suing to prevent this vital link from being replaced, .  This group sues in the name of radical environmentalism, and reaps huge amounts of cash from the government, while putting the lives and lively hoods of the residents in jeopardy.  Sad state of affairs.


The SELC has held up the process for roughly 2 years (starting in 2011).  The process for bridge replacement began in 1989.

So, just to be clear, you're blaming the SELC for a 2 year delay after TWENTY TWO years had already elapsed on the project.  That, and when we use the phrase "years ago", we typically refer to dates that are a little more distant than 2 years ago.

Overall, your statement was pretty disingenuous.


Yeah, but Marc Basnight had other pockets into which he wanted to pour money while he controlled the graft, er, I mean the budget as senate president pro tempore. Once he got his crony Stan White on various boards and committees controlling road building, the money did flow. And not only for things like paving the private roads to country clubs and gated developments, but important items like the horrifically ugly "rebuilding" of Jennette's Pier as a vanity project for ol' Marc.

Unfortunately, the south end of the Bonner Bridge is not under state control, so he let that dangle in hopes the feds would pay for it. Also, a good chunk of the southern part of the banks is not in his district, so fark 'em.

Last but not least, the Pepsi Party got control of the budget last time around so money intended for things like bridges in District 1 got transferred to even more boondoggley projects like the Gastonia Bypass, which is definitely not in District 1. Democracy!

/North Carolina, the new New Jersey
 
2013-12-03 01:11:46 PM
Part of the reason why the Bonner Bridge replacement project has taken so long is the difficulty in sorting out just who has jurisdiction, and where. The southern end of the bridge is on Pea Island, a National Seashore (basically a national park). Then there's the old Coast Guard station (historic site), the bird habitat area between Pea Island and the mainland, the wetlands alongside the bridge on either end, the coastal authorities, the politicians and businessmen north of the bridge, the long time residents south of the bridge, the Feds, the state and everyone else.

Two alternatives were eventually developed, one just west of the existing bridge and a humongous 22 mile long structure that bypassed all the National Seashore property and tied back into Pea Island somewhere just north of Rodanthe IIRC.  The shorter, less expensive option was always the route the state wanted; FHWA rules however require an 'avoidance alternative' that misses all the controversial properties, so the much longer route had to be developed. Then the environmental groups got involved with their requests for studies and reviews and comments and responses and meetings and hearings, and it's a wonder the state has finally gotten to the point where construction is nearly able to begin.
 
2013-12-03 01:22:06 PM
FTFA: "NCDOT tells NewsChannel 3 that they expect to award a contract for the emergency repair work this week, with actual work to start in several weeks."

Well, this is certainly the best way to get a no-bid contract for your brother-in-law without anyone asking any questions.
 
2013-12-03 01:34:22 PM

JackieRabbit: FTFA: "NCDOT tells NewsChannel 3 that they expect to award a contract for the emergency repair work this week, with actual work to start in several weeks."

Well, this is certainly the best way to get a no-bid contract for your brother-in-law without anyone asking any questions.


True, but you gotta be careful this time because the Feds are involved. Remember what happened to Jerry Gaskill. No matter how many times they tried to have his case thrown out of court, his conviction set aside, and his sentencing postponed indefinitely, he eventually got sentenced in US District Court - to probation.

That'll learn 'em!

Oh, and he got a fine, but the state paid that.

As for the boat they ordered (without normal state oversight for such an expenditure) for the Currituck Ferry project, it's still tied up at the boatyard in Manns Harbor. They tried to sell this white elephant (cost to the taxpayers: $500k) on Ebay, of all places, with a minimum bid of $200k and didn't get a single taker.

/the new New Jersey
 
2013-12-03 01:54:01 PM

misanthropic1: About a tenth of bridges in America are potentially dangerous and in need of repair; it's the new normal.

/not like we have a problem with unemployment or anything


1.bp.blogspot.com
 
2013-12-03 02:00:19 PM
UPDATE  closed now the island and several thousand residents are cut off, only access is by emergency ferry

https://apps.ncdot.gov/newsreleases/details.aspx?r=9088">https://app s.ncdot.gov/newsreleases/details.aspx?r=9088
 
2013-12-03 02:01:44 PM

geocacherphil: more info here

http://www.ncdot.gov/projects/bonnerbridgereplace/
<

i>Instead of preparing an adequate analysis of alternatives to the Project and the cumulative impacts of the Project as a whole, the Defendants piecemealed the Project into separate segments and issued a Record of Decision approving a selected alternative for the Project in violation of NEPA. In addition, the selected alternative for the Project will violate Section 4(f) by requiring construction through the Refuge
(and ―use of Refuge lands) even though feasible and prudent alternatives exist that will not use the Refuge, and by failing to sufficiently plan to minimize harm to the Refuge.The Defendants signed their
Record of Decision on December 20, 2010, and made it available to the public on or about January 5, 2011.

Through this lawsuit, Plaintiffs seek to have the unlawful Record of Decision set aside and to
compel the Defendants to comply with NEPA.</i>

EXCUSE me? The viable plan for repairing a bridge is to build though a wildlife preserve? The hell?
 
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