In response to recent inquiries regarding the safety of the Ashford Avenue Bridge, the Department of Public Works/Transportation of the County offers the following:
Based on the 2009 New York State Dept. of Transportation’s (NYSDOT) Biennial Bridge Inspection Report, the Ashford Avenue Bridge and ramp connecting the bridge to the northbound Saw Mill River Parkway have a General Recommendation Rating of 4 (on a scale of 1 to 7).
In the NYSDOT Bridge Inspection Manual, a ‘4’ Rating is defined with the following summary text:
"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 based on recent field observations by PW), this generic description applies well to both bridges. The deterioration of both bridges has been gradual and progressive in nature, and reflects typical long-term effects of weather and road salt on concrete and steel elements. Whereas the structure is considered moderately deteriorated and in need remedial action, it should be noted that the bridge and ramp is deemed safe for use by the travelling public.
The 2011 biennial inspection was performed in mid-September by the consultant for the NYSDOT. The inspection reports and any specific flags are thoroughly reviewed by the State before they are issued to the owners as the rating and assessment is somewhat subjective in nature and internal concurrence is required before this information is released. Only flags labeled “prompt interim action (PIA) recommended” are brought to the owner’s attention at the time of discovery, due to their time sensitive nature. It is anticipated that the General Recommendation Rating of 4 for both structures will not change as a result of the 2011 Biennial Inspection.
One PIA safety flag was issued for the small strips of cracked and delaminated concrete over sections of the northbound thruway. Planking will be installed between the steel girders of this area to prevent any small pieces of concrete from falling onto the thruway. At that time we will also perform any interim repairs necessary to remedy any additional lower priority flags that may be brought to our attention in conjunction with the 2011 inspection. We will also be performing a temporary repair of a spall located at the top of the wall along a vertical construction joint between the east abutment and wingwall. Although this spall poses no structural or safety impact (it is not located over live traffic or an area accessed by the general public), it is visible to the public and has become a focal point of concern.
Trust this addresses the matter.
Chief of Staff
Office of County Exeuctive
148 Martine Avenue
White Plains, New York 10601