Friday, July 16, 2021

1962,1997,2011+12 I-64 Sherman Minton Bridge over Ohio River at New Albany, IN

(Bridge Hunter; Satellite)

"Built 1961; rehabilitated 1997 and 2011/12; closed on September 9, 2011 due to cracks in the main load-bearing structural element; reopened on February 17/18, 2012" [Bridge Hunter] 

SMR-2018

It opened in Aug 1962, a year before the I-65 bridge opened. It has two decks of 3 lanes each that now carry 70,000 vehicles/day. The arch span is 800'. [SMR-about] (I used this source instead of the Bridge Hunter source for the completion year in the title.)

Rather than paint it while it was forced to be closed in 2011, they waited so that they can disrupt traffic for a couple of years with lane closures and have to remove even more rust. Actually, they are rehabilitating the bridge, not just painting it, to add 30 years of life to the bridge. [SMR-project]
Street View, May 2019

I learned of this bridge while reading about the crack in the I-40 bridge at Memphis, TN. Someone commented that this bridge had a similar double-arch design and that it also was closed because of a crack.
A Bridge Hunter comment

The Sherman Minton Bridge episode might prove instructive. It was ordered closed Sept. 9, 2011, after cracks were found in its main load-bearing structural element. The crack was repaired by Sept. 23, but an inspection of the rest of the bridge uncovered additional cracks. The repairs cost $20 million. The bridge reopened Feb. 17, 2012.
The Federal Highway Administration issued its technical advisory two days after the Sherman Minton Bridge was closed. It blamed the cracks on improper fabrication procedures as well as the grade of steel used.
"Several cracks were found in the butt welds or their associated heat-affected zones of the tension ties of both spans," the advisory said. "It was subsequently determined that the cracking was very likely caused by hydrogen that was introduced into the weld as the result of improper fabrication procedures. T-1 steel is known to be very susceptible to this type of cracking."
The I-40 bridge was also made with T-1 steel. However, ADOT says the crack is worse than those caused by welding T-1 grade steel with welding procedures that were banned in 1977. Forensic testing will be required to understand how the I-40 crack developed. [ArkansasOnline]

J.B. Rail Photog posted
07/15/2021 - Norfolk Southern train 223 with the Conrail Heritage Unit leading slowly approaches Tatum at New Albany, IN, as they head eastbound towards K&IT Junction passing up an old grain toward with the Ohio River paralleling the tracks makes for a wonderful backdrop.
[Note that this bridge is in the background.]

James Bailey, Mar 2018



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