Repairing the Chesapeake Bay Bridge

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Main Question or Discussion Point

I recall several years ago a ship damaged the Chesapeake Bay Bridge by plowing through it and taking out several sections.

I have always wondered how they fixed the piling that supports the structure. Since both ends of the damaged portion of the bridge remained, the pilings in the damaged area would have to be driven in the same location as the ones sheared off in the accident.

Can they do that? Are the damaged ends squared up and a new piling driven in the same spot?

Or can they just put forms on the damaged end and pour concrete and extend the existing ones?

How do they affix the rebar, and also, once salt water contacts the damaged portion of the concrete piling, isn't there a problem with the chloride in the fracture area a potential problem in the future?

Or, can they just vary the locations of the replacement pilings to avoid the damaged ones and put the bridge back together with a bit of variation in the span length?


It's an amazing bridge, I've never been able to drive over it however.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
Mech_Engineer
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Can you post a link to an article detailing the incident you're referring to? The only "incident" I could find was at the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel (different from the Chesapeake Bay Bridge). The USS Yancey collided with the tunnel bridge during a storm in 1970.

Wikipedia.org said:
In January 1970, Yancey was blown by a storm into the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel which closed the structure for several weeks.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chesapeake_Bay_Bridge-Tunnel
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Yancey_(AKA-93 [Broken])
https://catalyst.library.jhu.edu/catalog/bib_3696520 [Broken]
 
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  • #3
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In general a bridge superstructure is not rigidly connected to it foundations.

So collisions rarely have a great effect at depth.

I do have a humerous story about another bridge strike that I was called out to.
 
  • #4
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I left 'tunnel' off the OP because I didn't want to be confusing. The Yancey nailed the bridge portion in any event, not the tunnel portion(s). Knocked out quite a chunk.

Can we post pics here somehow?

In any event, in regards to any bridge with a pier knocked out by any ship, how do they put a pier back in the same spot if there is damaged piling and foundation structure where the repairs need to go ??
 
  • #5
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will try to post pic
 

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  • #6
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In any event, in regards to any bridge with a pier knocked out by any ship, how do they put a pier back in the same spot if there is damaged piling and foundation structure where the repairs need to go ??
Did you not read my last post?
All that you can see in your picture is superstructure.

I have no knowledge of this bridge, but why would they need to replace the elements exactly?


New piles could have been set alongside the old ones.
The old piles could have been extracted and replaced.
Work could have been carried out via a coffer dam or diving bell.
The deck spans could have been varied to suit any new support spacings.

Is there not a local historical archive you can consult?
 
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  • #7
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Did you not read my last post?
All that you can see in your picture is superstructure.

I am not concerned about the superstructure visible in the picture, I am wondering about the smashed piers/pilings NOT visible in the picture, in the area of the gap in the superstructure, under the water

I have no knowledge of this bridge,

I was hoping someone who did would reply

but why would they need to replace the elements exactly?

I entertained that idea too, did you read my post?

New piles could have been set alongside the old ones.

But were they? Oh, that's right, you have no knowledge of this bridge

The old piles could have been extracted and replaced.

Fascinating, the pilings might go down 100 feet, what machine can do that, I am very interested, please give details

Work could have been carried out via a coffer dam or diving bell.

or not

The deck spans could have been varied to suit any new support spacings.

I entertained that possibility too, did you read my post? But were they?

Is there not a local historical archive you can consult?

if I ask here, and manage to get a cogent reply, then we can all find out


Thanks for your help though, interesting considering what I have been through today.
 
  • #8
Mech_Engineer
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Well it sounds to me like you're going to have to go find out for yourself. Good luck, but be nicer to the librarian if you want useful help.
 
  • #9
russ_watters
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Question answered as best it can be, nothing useful left to gain, thread locked.
 

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