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 Post subject: Re: East Broad Top sale
PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2020 6:23 pm 

Joined: Sat Nov 28, 2015 7:28 pm
Posts: 460
Location: Northern WV
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 Post subject: Re: East Broad Top sale
PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2020 11:16 am 

Joined: Fri Sep 20, 2013 2:34 pm
Posts: 140
Just posted to the EBT Facebook page:

***UPDATE***

Thanks to a quick and diligent investigation by the Pennsylvania State Police of Huntingdon County, the individual who damaged the Runk Road Bridge has been found.

Apparently the bridge was struck by a large boom truck.

Another thank you goes to all of the local residents who assisted in the investigation and anyone else who may have reported on the case.

Plans and estimates to replace the structure are already in progress and we hope to replace the bridge as soon as possible. We will keep everyone updated as things progress!


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 Post subject: Re: East Broad Top sale
PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2020 1:12 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 9552
Location: Somewhere east of Prescott, AZ along the old Santa Fe "Prescott & Eastern"
I have just enough background in bridge structure analysis, specifically historic bridges, to "be dangerous," as the saying goes.

I have sweated for decades now about the condition of this bridge and the fills on either side, with good reason.

I would most strongly recommend consulting with the county with regards to replacement of this bridge to provide a slightly higher and wider clearance, while doing as best as possible to retain the historic character of the overpass. A slightly longer bridge will require stronger/thicker I-beams, and lowering the road even a couple inches will cause drainage problems. (Yes, I know that bridge and its location pretty damn well.)

Assuming the driver/company's insurance makes a payout that will be limited to "repairing the status quo" (which should be the expected result), that should be used as seed money towards a sounder replacement, with the county adding what they can towards widening.

We DO NOT need a concrete "monstrosity" like went in on the Strasburg's "Pumpkinville Turnpike", because they're not going to be hauling 286,000-lb. freight cars over it, and it IS on a public road, owned by a historic-preservation non-profit rather than a freight RR with passenger service. >;-)

One possibility: make the design of a replacement an engineering project for nearby Huntingdon College or Penn State University advanced-engineering classes?


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 Post subject: Re: East Broad Top sale
PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2020 1:35 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 24, 2004 2:35 pm
Posts: 348
Location: NJ
ADM4,

It isn't that easy anymore.

I have NJ experience so I too know enough to be dangerous. You typically can replace in kind when a beam fails or is damaged.

However if you are looking to replace; a minor upgrade would not be allowed if government funds are attached. The federal standards actually require the states and locals to upgrade bridges to meet current roadway and design standards and be functional for the next 50+ years. Not an easy task when trying to maintain a rural character to an area.

In this specific instance if beams are in need of replacement, one or more new beams should be easy to procure and install to replace the damaged structure. I would not suggest widening the underpass, improving the clearance, etc, because it will open the proverbial bureaucratic can of worms.

Could beams be found / sourced from another bridge on the line that will not be reopened? That would be the easiest solution.

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 Post subject: Re: East Broad Top sale
PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2020 8:55 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 9552
Location: Somewhere east of Prescott, AZ along the old Santa Fe "Prescott & Eastern"
It's not the I-beams I worry about.

It's the abutments.

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 Post subject: Re: East Broad Top sale
PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2020 9:00 am 

Joined: Tue Aug 24, 2004 2:35 pm
Posts: 348
Location: NJ
The abutments actually look great. No signs of deterioration, loss of mortar or cracking.

The section that got damaged at the top is not the bearing surface under the beams.

What does concern me is the amount of cinders and other debris in the bridge seat area. I am curious as to what the bearing surfaces look like as well as the ends of the beams. Cinders and soil against the steel could cause rot.

I have a County owned railroad bridge over a County roadway. Also a low height bridge. It gets hit every few months and shifted off the bridge seats every few years. We jack it back into place and realign the track. So far we have been lucky not to have severe damage to the beams.

Glad they caught the person that struck the bridge. Hopefully they are insured and the insurance company makes the EBT whole.

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 Post subject: Re: East Broad Top sale
PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2020 10:23 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 9552
Location: Somewhere east of Prescott, AZ along the old Santa Fe "Prescott & Eastern"
Let's show you the OTHER abutment, then. I should point out that--to my recollection--that spalling concrete wall has/had a slightly convex, i.e. outward-bowing, shape.

Oh, and the black cinder fill that "concerns" you?

It's pretty safe to assume that's the ENTIRE composition of the fill on either side of the bridge--based in part on my many years of climbing it and the numerous "test bores" I've observed done by Pennsylvania's subterranean engineers, the groundhogs. This isn't just a surface dusting.

The big problem here is the concrete or cement wall. Past experiences with engineers when we have worked to preserve historic bridges tells me that stone block walls deteriorate and erode gradually over time, whereas concrete, when it fails, fails quickly and with little or no warning. I have no idea if this wall has been reinforced with iron/steel rods.



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 Post subject: Re: East Broad Top sale
PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2020 11:30 am 

Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2018 3:51 pm
Posts: 156
Location: Ipswich, Mass., Phoenix, AZ
A couple of things for certain: (1) The driver KNEW that he had hit the bridge; and (2) The truck boom, if not the truck itself, are probably fatally damaged too. The driver himself might have been injured due to the sudden (!) stop. An idiot for certain.
Ned


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 Post subject: Re: East Broad Top sale
PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2020 12:10 pm 

Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2004 4:02 pm
Posts: 1273
Location: Back in NE Ohio
nedsn3 wrote:
A couple of things for certain: (1) The driver KNEW that he had hit the bridge; and (2) The truck boom, if not the truck itself, are probably fatally damaged too. The driver himself might have been injured due to the sudden (!) stop. An idiot for certain.
Ned


I'm sure the driver knew he hit the bridge, but I doubt he was going very fast. If you look at the satellite photo, Runk Rd. ends in a "T" intersection immediately after you pass under the EBT. So the truck was either coming up to the stop to turn, or had just turned onto Runk Rd., not going very fast at all. I know this because I've photographed at Runk on several occasions from both sides of the bridge.


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 Post subject: Re: East Broad Top sale
PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2020 12:59 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 9552
Location: Somewhere east of Prescott, AZ along the old Santa Fe "Prescott & Eastern"
Based on the photos, the truck in question was coming downhill from 522 towards the creek.

And trust me, it IS possible for someone towing a trailer with a piece of equipment on it to be blissfully unaware that their load struck something overhead, especially if the boom or whatever is sloping upwards front to back. There's no guarantee that the impact will stop the load dead, jerk the truck around, jolt the driver, etc.

Go to the website 11foot8.com for over 150 videos of trucks striking a low overpass in Durham, NC. After watching a couple dozen of those, it becomes quite clear that "They HAD to know!!!!!' is a misapprehension.

Now, the other question becomes, since there's nowhere to go but over the bridge over the creek past the bridge, which had to be rebuilt recently to bring its weight limit up to 8 tons, did the truck/whatever also violate THAT bridge's weight limit?


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 Post subject: Re: East Broad Top sale
PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2020 5:16 pm 

Joined: Thu Oct 08, 2015 11:54 am
Posts: 769
Location: New Franklin, OH
In my experience, the driver’s insurance will only pay an amount to repair the actual damage caused by the impact. If any other work needs done to put the bridge back in service not directly attributable to the accident, that will be to EBT’s account.

CVSR had a low clearance bridge take a good hit a few years back. NPS kicked in the additional funds to raise the bridge and the approaches for more clearance. EBT is gonna have to scrounge/beg some bucks if they’re considering raising/extending the bridge. The road owner (township?) may kick some money at it to improve conditions but that may depend on getting an appropriation from the county and/or state.

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 Post subject: Re: East Broad Top sale
PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2020 7:16 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2017 6:47 pm
Posts: 375
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Back in 2010 the NRHS Convention was in Scranton. While the DL excursion train to East Stroudsburg was on the road, a guy towing a trailer with an excavator hit a low bridge on the DL Main Line, displacing the track.

The excursion went to East Stroudsburg behind DL's 3 ex-D&H RS-3's. At East Stroudsburg, CNR 2-8-2 3254 coupled to the train, and the RS-3's ran around and coupled ahead. The doubleheader proceeded to Tobyhanna for a runpast first with the RS-3's and 3254, then the RS-3's uncoupled and went ahead while the 2-8-2 soloed another runpast.

The RS-3's found the displaced track the hard way; rocked and swayed across the bridge and stopped still on the rails. The excursion was held at Tobyhanna until the track department made temporary repairs so the excursion could creep across.

Phil Mulligan


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 Post subject: Re: East Broad Top sale
PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2020 8:21 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2018 7:08 pm
Posts: 146
Location: Alberta, Canada
Since we are talking about oversize truck vs bridge incidents, here's a famous one from my area:

http://www.okthepk.ca/dataCprSiding/new ... 102103.htm

The speed limit here is 80 km/h (50 mph), and the truck was doing every bit of that when the impact happened.

Edmonton's High Level Bridge (rail deck above the roadway) is notorious for its restricted clearances, and claims at least one truck every month. In one memorable incident the trailer caught on fire after contacting the trolleybus wires.

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 Post subject: Re: East Broad Top sale
PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2020 9:19 pm 

Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2018 3:51 pm
Posts: 156
Location: Ipswich, Mass., Phoenix, AZ
Sandy- Your idea of having some engineering students design a replacement or even a fix sounds good, but won't fly. #1 they'd have to have a P.E. license that takes 4 years experience to get and #2 they'd have to have insurance just in case of a problem. Having maintained and rebuilt bridges just like this one following accidents my guess would be (from many miles away) that the piers are probably OK but badly need cinders, dirt, etc., cleaned from the seats; at least one of the stringers needs replaced (obviously) and probably several of the diaphragms, along with the hardware, etc., all of the timbers will have to be taken off, so new ones can be installed when the work is done (railroad cost). Finally the rail probably needs to be replaced. Not complex, but their insurance company will have to buy off on whatever is done.
Ned P.E. since 1977 deep in the heart of very hot Phoenix.


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 Post subject: Re: East Broad Top sale
PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2020 3:12 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 9552
Location: Somewhere east of Prescott, AZ along the old Santa Fe "Prescott & Eastern"
nedsn3 wrote:
Sandy- Your idea of having some engineering students design a replacement or even a fix sounds good, but won't fly. #1 they'd have to have a P.E. license that takes 4 years experience to get and #2 they'd have to have insurance just in case of a problem. Having maintained and rebuilt bridges just like this one following accidents my guess would be (from many miles away) that the piers are probably OK but badly need cinders, dirt, etc., cleaned from the seats; at least one of the stringers needs replaced (obviously) and probably several of the diaphragms, along with the hardware, etc., all of the timbers will have to be taken off, so new ones can be installed when the work is done (railroad cost). Finally the rail probably needs to be replaced. Not complex, but their insurance company will have to buy off on whatever is done.


Again, "not my first rodeo." I've participated in the past with several projects like this where students were legitimately in charge of the project as a "real-world training exercise," and in one case then turned the actual assembly work over to a local vo-tech school for construction, and then took the bridge to the site behind oxen!

I'm certain that somewhere the work on these projects was overseen by a P.E. who signed off on the work. And if that's what's needed for a project in a government-run park or a public road, so be it. (I'm hardly a big fan of "occupational licensing" if you will, so let's avoid that discussion.)

Further, this is a private bridge on a private RR, which probably does not fall under FRA jurisdiction because it does not (YET!) "connect to the general system", in a very rural county. There gets to be some interaction with the county and/or state with regards to road standards specs, BUT this overpass fails those standards in so many other ways that it's painfully obvious that either the RR has been "grandfathered" in by virtue of simple age, or no one in authority with regards to the road is keen to impose such standards here out of either simple respect for history or capitulation to common sense (i.e. "choose your battles").

All of the above points really make the case for "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." The danger becomes that if they attempt to do anything beyond keeping the bridge the same, then you could be forced to provide adequate height clearance and additional width, meaning a complete redesign and new bridge. (Much like once you have to renovate a historic structure, you lose your "historic" exemption for various codes, including the ADA. Ask the B&O Railroad Museum about that, in yet another "insurance"-related rebuilding.) The insurance company for the driver, with GOOD cause, won't pay for all that. So, "status quo" until something structurally fails and blocks the road and closes the RR.

And if a simple dent in the flange of an I-beam is enough to "obviously" condemn it completely, I need to send you with your flashing lights and sirens to about 25 overpasses that I can think of with such dents, at least one in regular passenger service........
And those are "abutments," not "piers."


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