Thursday, June 23, 2022

2000 US-68 William H. Harsha Bridge over Ohio River near Aberdeen+Maysville

(Bridge Hunter; John A. Weeks IIISatellite)

This bridge and a new bypass highway opened in 2000 so that the 1931 suspension bridge that is a little upstream from here could be closed for rehabilitation. And trucks over 15 tons still use this bridge instead of the old one.

2008 Photo by Kentucky Transportation Cabinet

This bridge was built after the problem of cable vibration was well understood. Many earlier cable stayed bridges had problems with the stay cables vibrating during light rain showers. Older bridges had to be retrofit with a dampening mechanisms. On the Harsha Bridge, the cables were encased in a plastic tube. That tube has a small ridge on it that spirals around the tube for its full length. The ridge provides a small amount of lift that disturbs the air around the cables just enough where the vibration will not get started. This was an extremely cheap solution to a problem that has proven to be very costly to some earlier cable stayed bridge operators.
William H. Harsha was a Congressman from Ohio from 1961 to 1981.

2010 Photo by Kentucky Transportation Cabinet

A better exposure of a cable connection.
2010 Photo by Kentucky Transportation Cabinet

The new bypass highway includes a significant cut on the Kentucky side.
Street View

I wonder why a bridge that is just 20 years old has "cabling and other deficiencies."
"Repairs are expected to take place in 2023, according to information from KYTC. The two area bridges that span the Ohio River were among bridge projects included in Governor Beshear’s proposed budget with $8 million to address cabling and other deficiencies in the William Harsha Bridge and $23.4 million designated to rehabilitate the Simon Kenton Memorial Bridge which connects downtown Maysville to its Ohio neighbors. Improvements to the Simon Kenton Bridge include suspender cable replacements, steel repairs, and painting, KYTC spokesperson Allen Blair said."

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