The last phase of a highway reconstruction project became the first phase of a bridge repair job this week when a sharp-eyed bridge painting crew discovered a six-foot-long crack in a support beam.
The painters’ discovery led the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation to close the westbound Route 422 Bridge over the Shenango River indefinitely Tuesday (April 3) for emergency repairs. The bridge carries about 9,300 vehicles daily over the river west of Route 168 in the City of New Castle.
|The westbound Route 422 Bridge will be closed indefinitely for repairs, due to a crack spotted by a painting crew.|
PennDOT District 11 spokesman Jim Struzzi said that a crew from Advanced Painting Systems Inc., of Allison Park, PA, discovered the crack in one of the bridge girders while performing abrasive blasting to remove paint.
PennDOT closed the bridge immediately, and its engineers were assessing the through-and-through crack in the 3/8-inch beam.
To repair the damage, PennDOT “will be drilling the ends of the cracks and placing a splice on the northernmost girder of the westbound bridge between Piers 9 and 10 at Floorbeam 2,” said Struzzi. “We will then be placing a steel splice over the affected area.”
The steel, two-girder structure was built in 1972. The eastbound bridge, which is a different structure, is not affected.
Painting work on the bridge began in mid-March. The work was to have been the last step in a $19.7 million project that began in 2011 to improve 10.5 miles of Route 422 from the toll portion of I-376 to Route 2001 (Savanah Road).
The project included roadway patching, full-depth bituminous overlay, joint cleaning and sealing, concrete pavement patching, guide rail, cable barrier system, shoulder rumble strips, signing and pavement markings.
|The six-foot-long crack through a girder was discovered at the end of a $19.7 million rehab project.|
Bridge repairs were also performed on six structures, including latex modified concrete deck overlays, bearing replacements, and fabricated structural steel, slopewall and concrete repairs.
The prime contractors for the project are Trumbull Corp. of Pittsburgh in a joint venture with Lindy Paving Inc. of New Castle.
Advanced Painting Systems, an industrial and commercial painting contractor, declined to discuss the case Wednesday.