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Old 09-19-2011, 10:32 AM
 
2,492 posts, read 3,652,794 times
Reputation: 1385

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wilson513 View Post
I'll save KJ, our engineer on the thread, from having to straighten this out for you.

Functional obsolescence is what occurs when a thing is still in good condition (which it is) but is no longer adequate for the task (too much traffic). That is the reason KJ said to build another bridge and that it was economically unsound to tear the old one down.
Brent Spence may be suitable for years to come with a lesser traffic load. But why would we half-arse this project now and essentially kick the can down the road for another generation to worry about?

And, since Brent Spence is less than a stone's throw from the lightly used CW Bailey Bridge, I have to ask: How many ugly bridges bridges do we want crossing the Ohio at downtown? Coming from someone who is adamantly opposed to the unaesthetic overhead wires in Cincinnati, I'm surprised you don't have a problem with the awful appearance of a couple of these less-than-attractive bridges and the visual clutter that building a new bridge next to the BS would create.

I literally cringe when they show shots of downtown on Monday Night Football or something like that and they include the BS and CWB bridges. Those blocky hulks of metal look straight out of the industrial Soviet Union and don't exactly present a modern, progressive, healthy or clean image of Cincinnati. Three of the same bridges side-by-side-by-side would be nothing short of hideous. Of course, I'm no traffic engineer, but I'd build a dynamic new bridge for 75, then line the Brent Spence up with explosives and send it crashing into the Ohio early one Sunday morning. If need be, permanently reroute 71 traffic to the airport, Kentucky and points south using the 471 bridge and be done with it.

For comparison, look at the beautiful bridges of downtown Pittsburgh. There's nothing but attractive river spans there. What are we doing wrong?

http://www.google.com/imgres?q=downt...:0&tx=90&ty=83

Last edited by abr7rmj; 09-19-2011 at 10:51 AM..
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Old 09-19-2011, 11:21 AM
 
Location: Mason, OH
9,259 posts, read 13,360,925 times
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When you express a healthy and progressive image of Cincinnati, what exactly are you alluding to? I feel a city which moves the interstate traffic efficiently and cost effectively through its downtown is meeting the criteria. Since I-75 is one of the major vehicle and industrial traffic movers from Canada, Northern Michigan all the way to Southern Florida and points in between, we do have an obligation to do our part in keeping it functional. Note... I said functional, the function which is to move the traffic.

To me, a carbon copy of the BS built immediately to the west, but maybe 50% more lanes, including the emergency pull-off lanes would be as functional as you can get. Once nearing completion, the existing BS could be reconfigured to handle only I-71 and downtown traffic only. Since it already does that, the effect on ramping the greater volume I-75 through traffiic on the new bridge should represent less of a total rework. A little more digging into the hillsides on the KY side of the river and a few businesses to be consumed by the new bridge.

When you talk a totally new bridge to replace the BS just on asthetic values, you are talking of an expense which is asinine in consideration. When you talk about deferring the problem to the next generation, it is just about the same. Of the publically disclosed projects for the BS, which of these have a design life considerably exceeding that of the BS? What are the figures, in addition to initial construction, which indicate the designs will be less epensive to maintain over their lifetime? When you condemn designs as being ugly and utilitarian I maintain with proper engineering input the BS could literally be rebuilt in place without ever shutting it totally down. Compared to the all or nothing of alternatives, this is important.
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Old 09-19-2011, 11:39 AM
 
2,492 posts, read 3,652,794 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kjbrill View Post
When you express a healthy and progressive image of Cincinnati, what exactly are you alluding to? I feel a city which moves the interstate traffic efficiently and cost effectively through its downtown is meeting the criteria. Since I-75 is one of the major vehicle and industrial traffic movers from Canada, Northern Michigan all the way to Southern Florida and points in between, we do have an obligation to do our part in keeping it functional. Note... I said functional, the function which is to move the traffic.

To me, a carbon copy of the BS built immediately to the west, but maybe 50% more lanes, including the emergency pull-off lanes would be as functional as you can get. Once nearing completion, the existing BS could be reconfigured to handle only I-71 and downtown traffic only. Since it already does that, the effect on ramping the greater volume I-75 through traffiic on the new bridge should represent less of a total rework. A little more digging into the hillsides on the KY side of the river and a few businesses to be consumed by the new bridge.

When you talk a totally new bridge to replace the BS just on asthetic values, you are talking of an expense which is asinine in consideration. When you talk about deferring the problem to the next generation, it is just about the same. Of the publically disclosed projects for the BS, which of these have a design life considerably exceeding that of the BS? What are the figures, in addition to initial construction, which indicate the designs will be less epensive to maintain over their lifetime? When you condemn designs as being ugly and utilitarian I maintain with proper engineering input the BS could literally be rebuilt in place without ever shutting it totally down. Compared to the all or nothing of alternatives, this is important.
Well kjbrill, I've not heard your proposal mentioned anywhere else, which leads me to believe that the plan is to completely replace, not complement, the existing bridge.

I do see your point, and I'm certainly not advocating a replacement bridge based on aesthetics alone. But, if we are going to replace the BS entirely, there's nothing that says it has to be a "carbon copy" (when was the last time anyone used an actual carbon copy? I vaguely remember them from paying for gas with credit cards years ago) of what we have now. We can shoot for a functional bridge with an attractive design that includes provisions for future light rail.

Of course I-75 is vitally important to commerce in this region and country, and its passage through Cincinnati is important. No one will dispute that. And the volume and vitality of traffic heading north/south is impressive. I just think the BS and CWB bridges - particularly during daytime - don't paint an attractive and modern picture of the city. Their designs are antiquated and utilitarian. If you compare those two bridges (and the equally unattractive Taylor-Southgate bridge) with what Pittsburgh has, well, there really is no comparison. Cities do have to think of things like that.

Our bridges:

http://www.google.com/imgres?q=downt...0&tx=102&ty=66

Pittsburgh's bridges:

http://www.google.com/imgres?q=pitts...:0&tx=80&ty=98
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Old 09-19-2011, 12:10 PM
 
Location: Mason, OH
9,259 posts, read 13,360,925 times
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abr7rmj... That is part of my objection. We have to have total replacement for the BS? Now just what do you think is involved with designing a total replacement for the BS, including all of its deficiences? What is the problem of constructing any total replacement bridge across the river? In the area we are talking about, just consider the exit/entry ramps which need to be constructed. Can you clear out a system of entry/exit ramps on either side of the Ohio which will handle this traffic? Remember it needs to be operqtinq before the obsolete bridge can be torn down.

We already have a system which routes traffic from the BS to I-71 and downtown. So do you want a total replacement? Some of your need an education in urban renewal and specifically what it costs to build a major bridge across a major river in a major city to support a major interstate. Sorry, I will stick by my evaluation, a 2nd bridge to handle the through town I-75 traffic and the existing bridge reconfigured to hand the I-71 downtown traffic. If I have not satifisfied your asthetic desires, OK,
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Old 09-19-2011, 12:41 PM
 
10,139 posts, read 22,409,188 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kjbrill View Post
abr7rmj... That is part of my objection. We have to have total replacement for the BS? Now just what do you think is involved with designing a total replacement for the BS, including all of its deficiences? What is the problem of constructing any total replacement bridge across the river? In the area we are talking about, just consider the exit/entry ramps which need to be constructed. Can you clear out a system of entry/exit ramps on either side of the Ohio which will handle this traffic? Remember it needs to be operqtinq before the obsolete bridge can be torn down.

We already have a system which routes traffic from the BS to I-71 and downtown. So do you want a total replacement? Some of your need an education in urban renewal and specifically what it costs to build a major bridge across a major river in a major city to support a major interstate. Sorry, I will stick by my evaluation, a 2nd bridge to handle the through town I-75 traffic and the existing bridge reconfigured to hand the I-71 downtown traffic. If I have not satifisfied your asthetic desires, OK,
An additional advantage of a second bridge would be no new access or exit ramps. Straight across and join up with 75/71 somewhere convenient either before or after the cut in the hill.
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Old 09-19-2011, 01:19 PM
 
Location: Mason, OH
9,259 posts, read 13,360,925 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wilson513 View Post
An additional advantage of a second bridge would be no new access or exit ramps. Straight across and join up with 75/71 somewhere convenient either before or after the cut in the hill.
Some people seem to understand the physical requirements. Others seem to be floating out there in some great utopia with no grounding in facts. Let's solve the basic problem, not create a bigger one in the replacement.
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Old 09-19-2011, 04:03 PM
 
2,492 posts, read 3,652,794 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kjbrill View Post
Some people seem to understand the physical requirements. Others seem to be floating out there in some great utopia with no grounding in facts. Let's solve the basic problem, not create a bigger one in the replacement.
Geez kjbrill, I just pointed out what I don't like about the current bridge's appearance. I didn't criticize your idea, which has merit, other than the fact that I don't think we should clutter our river up with endless bridges. Wilson513 hates unsightly overhead wires and thinks the city should bury all of them - probably at significant cost. Is he living in a "great utopia" too? Personally, I'm not all that interested in the BS - it's not going anywhere anytime soon. But thanks for the usual insult anyway.

And again, the fact that I've not heard your proposal floated anywhere other than by you probably means a whole bunch of people at the federal, state and local levels who have the power to make decisions on this project are also living in this so-called utopia, while you (again) are the lone voice of sanity and reason.

Fire away.

Last edited by abr7rmj; 09-19-2011 at 04:14 PM..
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Old 09-19-2011, 06:43 PM
 
Location: Mason, OH
9,259 posts, read 13,360,925 times
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I am not the lone voice of sanity and reason. But most of what you hear are the voices of bureaucratic dreamers working on the public dole trying to justify why they have a job in the first place. So they propose lofty glamorous bridges which will add nothing to the efficiency of moving traffic across the river. In fact they will consume great additional sums of the public money in attempting to reroute the interstates, confiscate private property, and build entry/exit ramps to accomodate them.

So let's go with one of the beautiful suspension cable designs which are virtually worthless until the bridge is totally completed. Then let's suffer through how many months of torture until all of the exit/entry ramps are rerouted while still trying to maintain traffic. Then let's have a Riverfront Stadium type of public demolition to dump the current BS bridge into the river. Then we can all rejoice at a the destruction of a public facility at an excessive cost since it never delivered its ultimate potential and the replacement was decidedly overly expensive. That will be in line with the government run projects in this country - over budget, over time to completion, and definitely over-ballyhooed. Sit back and feel satisfied with all of the goodwill this type of boondoogle will bring to the City of Cincinnati. If you think people have negative feelings about the City now, just wait until they have to suffer through the years, yes years, it wll take for a replacement bridge and access system to be built for the BS.
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Old 09-19-2011, 08:26 PM
 
2,492 posts, read 3,652,794 times
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I'm unfamiliar with the logistics and infrastructure details involved with building a replacement bridge as opposed to building a complementary bridge. It would seem to me that both new spans would be in the same spot - just to the west of the BS, so infrastructure work would be necessary either way.

I was originally just commenting on which of the three new bridge options I liked best.
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Old 09-20-2011, 06:28 AM
 
Location: Mason, OH
9,259 posts, read 13,360,925 times
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Naturally there is infrastructure work involved either way. But a complementary bridge requires far less, particularly if intended to carry north/south I-75 through traffic only. The existing ramps can be left mostly intact until the new bridge and ramps are completed. The majority of the ramps feeding downtown, FWW, and the KY side would remain the same for the I-71 and local traffic.

To construct all the ramp work for a replacement bridge while maintaining existing traffic is far more complicated unless it could be located some distance from the BS, which is highly unlikely due to terrain, especially the KY side. Since the BS is said to be at twice its design capacity, it stands to reason a replacement bridge would have to be more than twice as large relative to the number of lanes. Even if a double decker this is still huge. There is just not enough room to construct it without making large disturbances to property and on the KY side further major cuts into the hillsides where there is insufficient space.

I still say concentrate on the main problem, the BS is over capacity, build a second bridge to solve the capacity problem the simplest way possible by concentrating on the I-75 through town traffic. Through traffic requires only a way to get on and off the bridge while heading in the same direction. Local traffic requires far more. Of course build it with enough lanes for some padding so in the future ramps could be rerouted to distribute traffic as required.

One of the things it took me awhile to learn as an engineer, you do not design what you personally like and think is appealing, you design what the clientele are willing to pay for. Do everything you can to convince them certain elements are in their best interests, concentrating on the financial return, but in the end fit your proposal to their pocketbook. Unfortunately government run projects never seem to follow this basic principle.
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