The forty-four year old Turnbull Bridge in New Smyrna Beach, Florida has been shut down after county inspectors found what they called “severe corrosion” on the support beams. County officials began maintenance on the bridge immediately and are calling it a ten month long project.
A large section of concrete beam was found deteriorating, as other parts of the beam had fallen into the water. The deterioration has been said to have been caused by water that had been splashed onto the beams. Inspectors believe the water entered the concrete through the microscopic cracks thus corroding the interior steel cables. The cables then must have expanded causing further cracking and deteriorating of the concrete.
In 2010, the bridge was labeled “structurally deficient” when the corrosion was first observed. That led to biennial, rather than annual, inspections of the bridge. Residents began raising funds for the restoration of the bridge, until the bridge recently closed after further investigation.
The bridge was expected to close in 2013 due to the corrosion; however, construction is now expected to begin in the fall of 2012. The total cost of the bridge’s construction is estimated to be approximately $4 million. Other costs will be felt by local business owners and residents who will be affected by the closing of the bridge.
More bridges are also facing problems of corrosion across the country.