Traffic across the Cove "Escape" Bridge was detoured Thursday, about an hour after the Department of Transportation (DOT) issued a warning to residents.
DOT shut down the aging, 50-year-old superstructure just after 1 p.m. Thursday due to "significant deterioration" found in a recent study.
"The bridge is inspected more frequently than the standard once-everytwo-years inspection – some elements are inspected every six months," wrote DOT spokesman Charles E. St. Martin III in an e-mail Thursday. "The findings that lead to the closure was the result of a special inspection that took place two weeks ago. The analysis of the findings were completed this week, and we moved to close the bridge as quickly as possible."
The superstructure was slated to be replaced as part of a $2 million project expected by residents to begin in January. However, "corrosion of the steel" prompted Thursday's quick actions.
"Regarding your question on the level of deterioration, the issue is corrosion of the steel reinforcing inside concrete box beams on the bridge. The corrosion reached a point where some of reinforcing provided very limited capacity," St. Martin wrote.
The bridge is expected to remain closed until late spring 2012.
Motorists will be directed to follow a detour using Park Avenue, Anthony Road and Boyds Lane. A detour map will be posted on DOT’s Web site.
We want to know what you think about the DOT's quick actions on Thursday. Do you think residents were given enough notice about the bridge closing?