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Bids Sought for ‘Bridge to Nowhere’

Thursday, May 5, 2011

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Bids will be accepted May 12 for selective demolition and structural repairs to The Big Four Bridge, an abandoned railroad truss bridge that connects Louisville, KY, and Jeffersonville, IN, over the Ohio River.

The bridge, completed in 1895 and updated in 1929, gets its name from the defunct Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago and St. Louis Railway, which was nicknamed the "Big Four Railroad.”

Public access to the six-span, 2,525-foot-long bridge was closed in 1969, earning it the nickname the “Bridge That Goes Nowhere.”

 Big Four Bridge

 Wikimedia Commons

The latest fire on the abandoned Big Four Bridge broke out May 7, 2008, a quarter-mile north of the Louisville end. Electrical problems were blamed. The blaze was difficult to fight as the bridge’s wood tresses, damaged in a fire 10 years earlier, were unsafe to scale.

In February 2011, the governors of Kentucky and Indiana announced that the two states, along with the City of Jeffersonville, would spend $22 million to complete the Big Four Bridge project and convert the crossing into a pedestrian and bicycle path to link Louisville and its Indiana suburbs.

Scope of Work

The project involves three types of protective coating work on steel:
  • The work for lower steel truss members includes cleaning and coating of all lower truss members, including lower chord members, wind chord members, floor beams, and all steel below these members.
  • The steel repair work includes cleaning and coating all steel surfaces within 12 inches of the designated work.
  • The bid option work involves cleaning and coating designated diaphragms plates in vertical members that are not designated to be repaired.
The project includes pressure-washing and coating structural steel surfaces with a 100% solids epoxy penetrating sealer. Spot-abrasive blast-cleaning to SSPC-SP 10 (near white) and touch-up coating application on areas of new equipment damaged during installation will also be required. The existing paint may contain lead; preliminary lead tests are available.

Reported by Paint BidTracker, a construction reporting service devoted to identifying contracting opportunities for the coatings community.

   

Tagged categories: Bidding; Bridges; Government; Protective coatings

Comment from Mike Perkins, (5/6/2011, 10:34 AM)

The last time I checked osha ruling either it is lead or it is not.That is a major price differential.


Comment from Tom Schwerdt, (5/11/2011, 12:32 PM)

If the preliminary tests came up as not finding lead, given the age, size and complexity of the structure I would still say that the existing paint "may contain lead." I would be very surprised if there was no lead paint anywhere on the structure, even if the early survey locations did not find it.


Comment from Brian Churray, (5/11/2011, 4:03 PM)

Quick update/response on these comments: All of the existing coatings on the bridge contain lead. As Tom mentioned, it's almost a given on a structure this old, particularly since it hasn't been touched for so many years.


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