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need for county to address deteriorating conditions of Ashford Ave bridge immediately...
Release Date: September 25, 2011
Spent some time chatting with residents and community leaders at Ardsley Day today. Some volunteer firefighters and ambulance corp members expressed concern that reconstruction of the Ashford Ave bridge keeps getting delayed. I took a walk over the bridge after my conversations and saw some crumbling concrete. The firefighters/ambulance corp members pointed out that on the north side of the bridge (near the sidewalk) a section of the conrete either fell or was removed. I sent photo's to the County Executive. Ardsley Mayor Jay Leon also spoke with the County Executive about the need to expedite the replacement of the bridge. I received the following e mail from County Legislator Mary Jane Shimsky who immediately responded to a copy of the e mail I sent to the County Executive (with photo's of the bridge).
There is no acceptable reason to delay the reconstruction of this important bridge.
BELOW- LETTER FROM COUNTY LEGISLATOR MARY JANE SHIMSKY
E MAIL I SENT TO THE COUNTY EXECUTIVE TODAY
REPORT FROM WESTCHESTER COUNTY CONSULTANT AUG 2010 CONCERNING CONDITIONS OF BRIDGE
From: MaryJane Shimsky <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: feiner98 <email@example.com>
Sent: Sun, Sep 25, 2011 8:48 pm
Subject: RE: ashford ave bridge is falling apart putting county on notice
The Ashford Avenue Bridge connects the Villages of Ardsley and Dobbs Ferry. Its span runs over two highly traveled highways, the Saw Mill River Parkway and the New York State Thruway. It is owned by Westchester County.
According to ratings based on inspections by the State Department of Transportation, the Ashford Avenue Bridge is the worst County-owned bridge in Westchester. Anyone who drives over or under the bridge, or walks over it, can see its deteriorating condition – the crumbled concrete, the metal supports exposed to the elements. Recently, a chunk of the bridge either fell off or was removed – the location was approximately 35 feet from the New York State Thruway.
I have been working with my colleagues on the Board of Legislators – notably the Chair of the Public Works Committee, Bill Ryan, and the Chair of the Capital Projects Subcommittee, Lyndon Williams -- to get some answers on the record about the time frame for repairing this vital connector. Public Works and Transportation Commissioner John Hsu is scheduling a briefing for me. I hope that some good will come out of this meeting. However, I am very concerned that, in today’s Journal News article on the deteriorating condition of many of Westchester’s bridges, the Ashford Avenue Bridge was not even mentioned by the County officials interviewed. We may have a lot of work ahead, to force this needed project to the top of the agenda.
We can neither afford an emergency closure of the bridge, as happened with the Champlain Bridge upstate in 2009; nor can we afford the consequences of debris from the bridge falling onto cars travelling on the Saw Mill River Parkway or the New York State Thruway. For too many years, the timeline for repairing the bridge has been pushed back. I am hoping that we will move forward with this project soon; and I will keep the residents of Greenburgh informed about the County’s progress, or lack thereof.
Subject: ashford ave bridge is falling apart putting county on notice
Earlier today I had the opportunity to speak to some Ardsley Volunteer firefighters and ambulance corp members. They advised that the Ashford Ave bridge connecting Ardsley to Dobbs Ferry is structurally deficient. Some serious and visible signs of decay. Parts of the road seem to be falling apart. Legislator Mary Jane Shimsky shared her concerns with me as well.
I went on a walk on the bridge and saw some signs of deficiencies. I believe that the county should expedite the repairs. I request that the county immediately send inspectors to check on the safety of the bridge. Will send some more photos....
Greenburgh Town Supervisor
THIS IS FROM THE WESTCHESTER COUNTY WEBSITE (AUGUST 16,2010)
Both bridges are in a state of moderate overall deterioration, with some localized areas of serious
deterioration. The deterioration has been gradual and progressive in nature, and reflects the long-term
effects of weather and road salt on concrete and steel elements. The bridge currently provides for the
safe support of vehicle loads, but, in the absence of rehabilitative re-construction, this is threatened in
the long term by the gradually worsening deterioration.
The concrete decks exhibit extensive seepage, surface cracking, and delamination of the outer layer of
concrete over the embedded reinforcing ("cover concrete"). Some of this delamination has progressed
to complete detachment of the cover concrete ("spalling"), with exposed steel reinforcing bars (rebars).
The progression of deck spalling in hard-to-reach areas over heavily-used travel lanes has led to the
need for protective wood planking in some locations to prevent loose concrete from striking moving
Deck joints typically leak, and several are missing their rubber seals entirely. This contributes to
deterioration of the steel girders and the concrete substructures.
Ashford Avenue Bridge – In-Depth Inspection
The steel beams have localized corrosion losses in webs and bearing stiffeners at each substructure.
There are no signs of structural distress, but the collective effect is gradually reducing the overall
margin of safety for load-carrying capacity. The majority of the steel between substructures is in
generally good condition, although it exhibits widespread deterioration of the paint system.
Piers and abutments have extensive moderate deterioration, with localized areas of serious
deterioration. The majority of abutment and pier surfaces exhibit surface cracking, dampness, rust
stains, and efflorescence. Large areas sound hollow, indicating delamination of cover concrete. Some
areas are spalled and/or crumbled on the surface, resulting in the exposure of the rebars.
The latest available NYSDOT biennial bridge inspections indicate assigned General Recommendation
ratings of "4" for each bridge (on a scale of 1 to 7, 7 being new condition). From the NYSDOT Bridge
Inspection Manual, a General Recommendation of "4" is captioned with the following generic
"Moderate deterioration of primaries, secondaries, and substructures has occurred, but bridge load
capacity is not substantially reduced. Considerable reconditioning of secondary members,
substructures, and other components maybe needed. Primary members do not yet need extensive
reconditioning. There may be some minor substructure undermining."
With the exception of "substructure undermining" (of which there is no evidence), this generic
description applies well to both bridges.
Potential Safety Hazards
Several conditions at the bridge pose hazards to the travelling public. These are summarized here, and
described in greater detail in the Appendix.
1. The Begin Right Approach Sidewalk has a 2" deep spall, creating a potential tripping hazard.
2. The Begin Right Approach Drainage drop inlet has grating bars with serious corrosion around
the perimeter, creating a potential wheel and tire hazard.
3. The Span 4 Right Sidewalk has exposed electrical wires due to a missing junction box cover,
creating a potential electrical shock hazard.
4. The Span 3 Right Sidewalk has a missing cover plate at the bridge joint, creating a potential
5. The Span 5 Wearing Surface has damaged steel joint hardware at the End Left corner of the
span, creating a potential tripping and tire hazard.
6. The Bridge Railings carried onto the wingwalls are separated due to wingwall settlement in two
locations: the End Right Wingwall of the Main bridge, and the End Right wingwall of the