Sign in to follow this  
Naviguessor

Beltway 8 / Ship Channel Bridge Replacement

Recommended Posts

intencity77    125

I'm aware of the age of the bridge, as I grew up in this part of town. I just assumed the 610 Ship Channel Bridge would have taken precedence over this, as it is much older and need of replacement. While the new bridge rendering looks great it sounds like an unnecessary waste of money.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Montrose1100    2693

I was forwarded this in an e-mail from an exclusive source.  :ph34r:

 

They could easily built an identical bridge right next to it to double capacity, but my source was concerned about lack of shoulders. I guess they'll be doing an interchange at 225?


@intencity77,

 

The bridge was built in 1982--it's 33 years old. Although it did hold up well, isn't it time for an upgrade? Here's a pic I found:

 

11855870_492711274219573_138334623391643

 

SOURCE: https://www.facebook.com/DeerParkTX.ED

LOL Fred Hartmann 1.5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ADCS    314

I wonder if the interior of the box girders is starting to degrade, given the relatively harsh environment surrounding the bridge.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
samagon    2050

can we get it built with Carnegie Steel this time? The Eads bridge was built in 1874, carried at least one elephant and is still in use today.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ADCS    314

can we get it built with Carnegie Steel this time? The Eads bridge was built in 1874, carried at least one elephant and is still in use today.

 

They tended to overengineer bridges quite a bit in those days, for a variety of reasons - labor was much cheaper, math was still done on paper, material strength coefficients weren't well known, etc.

 

Thirty years ago, engineering would have been done to a fairly precise estimation of loads. That's what leads me to believe that there's structural degradation - otherwise, what's the point of spending that much more on a double replacement?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
mollusk    1477

33 years (OK, 40 or so by the time the replacement is there) is likely less than what the specified design life was when built.  On the other hand, that bridge isn't quite the thrill that the Huey P. Long outside of New Orleans was before it was widened, but it's close.  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
DNAguy    331

I heard that the reason why the bridge is being replaced isn't neccessarily that its past its life, but that it limits the flow of ship channel traffic to between the bridge pillons.

IDK if that's completely. However, when you consider the potential catastophree of a significant ship hitting them (considering the ship AND car traffic) there is no reason to keep this bridge in service IMO.

A suspension bridge is a far better dresign from a safety aspect. It should be a far better design from a traffic flow aspect as well when you consider the increased lanes AND what should be a less steep grade.

Lots of congestion is created at the current bridge becasue the climb is so steep and traffic slows down considerably because of that.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ADCS    314

I heard that the reason why the bridge is being replaced isn't neccessarily that its past its life, but that it limits the flow of ship channel traffic to between the bridge pillons.

IDK if that's completely. However, when you consider the potential catastophree of a significant ship hitting them (considering the ship AND car traffic) there is no reason to keep this bridge in service IMO.

A suspension bridge is a far better dresign from a safety aspect. It should be a far better design from a traffic flow aspect as well when you consider the increased lanes AND what should be a less steep grade.

Lots of congestion is created at the current bridge becasue the climb is so steep and traffic slows down considerably because of that.

 

I'm guessing this has to do with New Panamax traffic. Are there any Ship Channel dredging projects in the near future?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
BigFootsSocks    2791

The new Panamax ships can't fit into the ship channel fully loaded. It would take an enormous amount of money to fully dredge out the ship channel enough to let them in

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Naviguessor    1226

ADCS - The Port of Houston does not have a specific timeline on widening or increasing the depth of the Ship Channel, in this location, at the moment.  But, widening is part of the long term plan.  The Ship Channel is generally quite narrow and relatively treacherous.   But, I believe that you are correct about New Panamax Traffic.  There is expected to be a very large increase in Container traffic in the port and, in turn, on the roads.  This bridge does serve as a direct link to I-10 West from Barbours Cut and Bayport Container Terminals.  For heavy traffic, and trucks, the bridge does seem to be less than optimal. 

post-11710-0-41968000-1443799084_thumb.j

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ADCS    314

ADCS - The Port of Houston does not have a specific timeline on widening or increasing the depth of the Ship Channel, in this location, at the moment.  But, widening is part of the long term plan.  The Ship Channel is generally quite narrow and relatively treacherous.   But, I believe that you are correct about New Panamax Traffic.  There is expected to be a very large increase in Container traffic in the port and, in turn, on the roads.  This bridge does serve as a direct link to I-10 West from Barbours Cut and Bayport Container Terminals.  For heavy traffic, and trucks, the bridge does seem to be less than optimal. 

 

I can't imagine they'll put a container port inland of Barbours Cut/Bayport, but I can easily imagine larger petroleum tankers going to the West Coast that would take advantage of a wider and deeper channel.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Howard Huge    2263

The Panamax ships don't have to come inland through the ship channel, they all offload at Barbours Cut/Morgans Point.

Also, being in the industry, and as someone who frequently drives 18 wheelers fully loaded with up to 70,000 lbs of crane counterweights up and down this bridge, I am in FULL support of replacing it with a wider, Fred Hartman style bridge.

That thing is a death trap and a nightmare to drive over in a haul truck, with all the little four wheelers constantly cutting in and around you because you're going too slow. The grade is so steep I almost come to a stop trying to get to the peak.

My worst nightmare is that one day my brakes will give, or a tranny will blow right before I hit the peak, and I will come flyin down the ramp in reverse, plowing through anything and everyone in my path.

Edited by Howard Huge
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
JLWM8609    484

ADCS - The Port of Houston does not have a specific timeline on widening or increasing the depth of the Ship Channel, in this location, at the moment.  But, widening is part of the long term plan.  The Ship Channel is generally quite narrow and relatively treacherous.   But, I believe that you are correct about New Panamax Traffic.  There is expected to be a very large increase in Container traffic in the port and, in turn, on the roads.  This bridge does serve as a direct link to I-10 West from Barbours Cut and Bayport Container Terminals.  For heavy traffic, and trucks, the bridge does seem to be less than optimal. 

 

That bridge is seemingly narrow for 1982 standards. I've seen bridges from the 70s that are wider and have full shoulders (cough cough, 610, cough cough), but Interstate design standards are different. I think I read somewhere that the current bridge is so narrow because it was originally planned to be a NB or SB only structure, but it would serve both NB and SB traffic until a twin structure could be built.

Edited by JLWM8609

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
IronTiger    744

That bridge is seemingly narrow for 1982 standards. I've seen bridges from the 70s that are wider and have full shoulders (cough cough, 610, cough cough), but Interstate design standards are different. I think I read somewhere that the current bridge is so narrow because it was originally planned to be a NB or SB only structure, but it would serve both NB and SB traffic until a twin structure could be built.

North of Jacintoport, the freeway pavement ends and squeezes into the right side.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
LarryDierker    3137

The Panamax ships don't have to come inland through the ship channel, they all offload at Barbours Cut/Morgans Point.

Also, being in the industry, and as someone who frequently drives 18 wheelers fully loaded with up to 70,000 lbs of crane counterweights up and down this bridge, I am in FULL support of replacing it with a wider, Fred Hartman style bridge.

That thing is a death trap and a nightmare to drive over in a haul truck, with all the little four wheelers constantly cutting in and around you because you're going too slow. The grade is so steep I almost come to a stop trying to get to the peak.

My worst nightmare is that one day my brakes will give, or a tranny will blow right before I hit the peak, and I will come flyin down the ramp in reverse, plowing through anything and everyone in my path.

 

I couldn't imagine. I pulled a double axle trailer over this bridge in a pick-up truck one rainy night and thought I was surely gonna die.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
BigFootsSocks    2791
CHARACTER OF WORK: The HCTRA proposes a replacement bridge project along Beltway 8 to improve the north-south transportation link between Interstate Highway 10 (IH 10) and State Highway 225 (SH 225) in Houston, Harris County, Texas and remove the existing bridge. By removing the existing bridge and constructing new a bridge along this segment of the Sam Houston Tollway East (SHTE) corridor, the HCTRA aims to improve safety by upgrading roadway design to current Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) design standards, improving mobility within the corridor to accommodate current and future traffic demands, and completing the SHTE system initiative. The SHTE system initiative involves construction of a corridor that is consistent with other segments of the SHTE system to the north and south of the project areas.

 

Man, I know the name fits for the area, but the acronym for Sam Houston Tollway East could use a bit of work.

 

I did laugh like a 12 year-old reading every mention of the SHT-E system. :lol:

Edited by BigFootsSocks
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
mollusk    1477

Aye, but that's a Scania* lion on the side

 

*what survives of SAAB

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
mkultra25    493

Aye, but that's a Scania* lion on the side

 

*what survives of SAAB

 

Yeah, several years ago when Porsche was buying up VW shares as part of its abortive takeover attempt, it had to also make an offer to buy Scania as a result of its increased stake in VW, who was (and still is) the majority stakeholder in Scania. 

 

Someone obviously decided to have some fun with Photoshop as a result, but I like to think of it as a natural outgrowth of the Cayenne Turbo, only bigger.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this