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Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 8 posts ] 
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 Author: crow
PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2017 9:15 pm 
"I ask the engineer and he said the bridge is fine, they just doing the last inspection before closing out the contract" crooned the voice of the NMDOT PIO on the other end of the phone. Obviously the inspection didn't pass because already Interstate Highway Construction (IHC), the original builder was already back on the job; I headed back to the bridge sand parked next to the DOT Watcher. The Watcher is there to just watch everybody work and make sure they are following the work order.

The watcher said that 2 issue were being addressed:
1. Some grinding on the pillar tops to facilitate water runoff , above and 3rd phto down and
2. Sand blasting paint off wherever there were cracks in the concrete and filling them with the dark gray stuff shown below.

These patches run the full length of the bridge on both sides of both barrier walls between both sidewalks and the roadway. This work is also, though to a lesser extent, being done under the bridge on the columns, pillars and girders.

This bridge was completed and opened on January 29, 2016, one year ago.

 Author: frances
PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2017 7:04 am 
Time to look more closely at why that grinding is being done "to facilitate water runoff". I have reason to believe it is due to an improper placement of wedges, configured to "facilitate water runoff". If so, no amount of jerry rigging can reverse the error. The reversed wedges could be a major factor contributing to reducing the expected life span of bridge. Does anyone have further confirmed or hearsay info regarding this massive glitch? The degree of the angle of properly installed wedges is to accommodate the difference between one end of the bridge to the other. How can this be fixed by tweaks here and there?

 Author: EGGreen
PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2017 11:50 am 
Gee whillikers!! Who paid these guys??? I felt a little nervous crossing seeing all the "patches" both sides, end to end-- made me wonder what the heck I wasn't seeing!! There goes our tax dollars, again, and again, and again. . . . .

Create a great day! Gale

 Author: mousie
PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2017 4:12 pm 
Do these people know what their doing? I am certain that we, the taxpayers, have overpaid for the work on this project. It would be nice, if for once, we got our money's worth, and we certainly didn't get it with this bridge.

 Author: crow
PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2017 3:50 pm 
I believe the part that Frances is referring to is circled in red; they are wedged shaped steel plates set between the pillar, dark gray below and the girder, white upper, which give the roadway a decline heading north allowing water runoff from the bridge.

Is the left half backward? I cannot say. But word from Frances's source indicate unwanted extra stress points.

Another view of the steel plates showing the stepped concrete that create the humped center of the roadway directing water runoff to the side of the bridge. The difference in color between these and the top photo is they got painted when the bridge was sprayed.

Nothing else was placed on the steel plates before the girder was set.

A view of another pillar/girder interface with a gob of concrete or mortar covering the end of the steel plate which could prevent water runoff. The glob in the first photo has been ground off leaving a space between it and the pillar this will get the same treatment.

Notice the crack in the end of the pillar. I'm told by concrete professionals that these cracks can happen from the mixture being a little too wet but never-the-less are an extremely bad thing. A little water entering the crack then freezing will cause spalling which is when layers of concrete pop and come loose leaving a larger are of wetness to soak deeper into the concrete eventually causing"concrete cancer". Concrete cancer is when the steel reinforcing in this case rebar to rust and swell causing a weakening of the structure.

The old bridge had been neglected to the point that there was a lot of spalling and a lot of rebar was rusted. For those who think the old bridge was just fine, I was imbedded with the crew as they took the bridge down and saw the deep damage when pillars and girders were broken into pieces.

 Author: gorwest
PostPosted: Sun Feb 05, 2017 5:43 pm 
I don't think that's a crack. It looks like another layer, or "lift", of fluid concrete over partially set mud. The top lift pushed the formwork out a little bit and created a slight ridge where they come together.

 Author: mousie
PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2017 7:32 pm 
From what I've learned from living in other states, if you offer these people a "bonus" for completing the job on time or sooner, they will finish the job faster, but then we end up paying all the more for further repairs. I seriously wonder how many of these "specialists" in their fields are licensed, certified, or even knowing what their job really is.

 Author: crow
PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2017 10:59 pm 
Mousie your'e close but it's a little more complicated; having been up close and personal with the bridge project and imbedded with the for a time from day one of the actual dismantling of the old bridge, this is what I leaned about pressures and $'s. So far this extra work and previous work on the roadway of the bridge has not cost tax-payers any extra money above the contracted amount of just over $7 million. When I write that the DOT is anxious to finish it's inspections and close its contract it means that within a given length of time after completion the DOT can demand that the corporation (IHC) come and fix problems at no extra cost, like a guarantee and that window is closing.

It's not only about the serious problems of corporate structure but about resident intolerance of any inconvenience for infrastructure improvements that is to our benefit that puts pressure on government agencies like the DOT.

The pecking order goes something like this:
1. the DOT has a timeline of when each faze should be completed to ensure on-time overall completion and exerted a constant pressure on the corporation if that timeline is not met. If the completion date is not met the corporation is penalized so many thousand of dollars per day but get no bonus if completed early.

2. IHC, puts pressure on their top foreman, Johnny Macias in this case, to meet the timeline and promised him a bonus if he beat the final completion date. Unfortunately for Jonny we had an extremely cold winter after a very wet monsoon causing flooding made worse by garbage thrown into the the creak by residents that clogged the diversion culverts causing some massive flooding of the work area. I published articles and photos of the problems; and many problems with delivery of parts and subcontractor equipment caused more delays.

3. It was left for Johnny to lean on the subcontractors, who had other obligations of their own, to be be flexible with delays in the schedule; the subcontractors as I understand had no bonus incentives; only Johnny and maybe his direct corporate supervisor at the office in Albuquerque.

4. The Watchers: During the construction of the bridge there were 2 sets of Watchers; one composed of NMDOT employees and the second set were 2 others, retired DOT employees, hired through a 3rd party company contracted by the DOT to pay attention to details; these 2 inspectors each had a full set of architectural drawings of every faze and part down to the smallest widget of the bridge. But who actually inspected each faze and approved the next step was never clear but I do know that the responsibly for any unnoticed screw-up by the crews falls on the inspectors.

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