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Hike and Bike bridge is burning


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The hike and bike bridge over White Oak Bayou near Studemont is on fire.  The fire is on the north side of the bayou.  Homeless people have been camping out under the bridge on that side.  It looks like that may be where the fire started.  I really hope they do not have to close the bridge down.  The hike and bike trail is one of the few things we have left to do during the pandemic.  

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3 minutes ago, cspwal said:

Isn't that bridge concrete?

I'm gonna guess no. 
KTRK just had a live report - fire appears to be out. No word on whether damage to the bridge would make it impassible.

 

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I was looking at the construction camera at The Allen when I saw the black smoke almost due north. Started looking for incidents reports and saw one for the area near Clarks Hardwood store. Thought it might have been that but then watched the news. This is going to be a major inconvenience for all the cyclist, joggers and anyone who uses that trail.:wacko:

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Seems like they were able to put it out quickly once they were able to get hoses down there.  The wood is over 100 years old.  Hopefully, some fire damage won't affect the structural integrity.  They already replaced one of the trestles in the middle of the bridge and did not have to close it down during the work.  Fingers crossed.

 

https://theleadernews.com/fire-department-battles-blaze-under-heights-bridge/

 

https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Fire-erupts-under-White-Oak-Bayou-bridge-15495693.php#photo-19830950

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4 hours ago, cspwal said:

Looks like on Google Maps detouring to Heights BLVD (on-street bike lane) is a 3/4 mile detour

If your destination is downtown, there is a quicker detour to the trail along White Oak Bayou via Stude Park.  This does require a short amount of on-street riding, but it is not too bad.

detour.jpg

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2 hours ago, s3mh said:

Seems like they were able to put it out quickly once they were able to get hoses down there.  The wood is over 100 years old.  Hopefully, some fire damage won't affect the structural integrity.  They already replaced one of the trestles in the middle of the bridge and did not have to close it down during the work.  Fingers crossed.

 

https://theleadernews.com/fire-department-battles-blaze-under-heights-bridge/

 

https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Fire-erupts-under-White-Oak-Bayou-bridge-15495693.php#photo-19830950

I rode past it on my bike and as of 4PM, it was still smoldering and they were still putting water on it.  But I agree, the damage is surprisingly minor, at least superficially.  Hopefully the follow-up inspection will reveal no significant loss of integrity of the wood.  I wonder if there was some kind of fireproofing that had been applied to the wood long ago?

20200819_160031.jpg

Edited by EaDo Lou
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They probably have a lot of spare capacity, since it was originally built for trains and now the heaviest thing that goes over it is an electric cargo bike

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42 minutes ago, cspwal said:

They probably have a lot of spare capacity, since it was originally built for trains and now the heaviest thing that goes over it is an electric cargo bike

 

Good point.  From a load perspective, the loss of a trestle or two is no big deal since the original design loads were significantly higher.  However, there is still a requirement that the deflections/vertical displacement in the concrete be kept below a certain maximum value in order to prevent cracks from developing and possibly allowing water to enter the cracks and corrode the internal rebar.  Thus, the loss of support could be a problem in that regards.  But it appears the supports are still in pretty good shape even after the fire, and if so, I would imagine they could open up the bridge fairly quickly.

Edited by EaDo Lou
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Not to be a debby downer but I will not be surprised if this is closed for months. Perhaps they'll reopen this right about the same time they open the park on the hill. It does suck but at least there are alternatives, and many good suggestions in here at that.

 

But whatever you do, do not cross on the Studemont bridge. Too incredibly narrow on the "sidewalk" and cars drive too fast to even consider biking on the road, imo.

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How high (or how fast would the flow rate have to be) would the bayou have to be to cause the bridge to collapse? We could see a tropical storm/hurricane next Monday/Tuesday. 

 

I took these photos during Imelda last September. 

IMG_1426.jpg

IMG_1425.jpg

Edited by TacoDog
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1 hour ago, TacoDog said:

How high (or how fast would the flow rate have to be) would the bayou have to be to cause the bridge to collapse? We could see a tropical storm/hurricane next Monday/Tuesday. 

 

 

There are equations for calculating the forces imposed by moving water (see https://www.bgstructuralengineering.com/BGASCE7/BGASCE7006/BGASCE70604.htm#:~:text=Hydrodynamic loads are those load,the effects of breaking waves.).  Large debris in the water, such as trees, vehicles, etc would be even worse.  If the fire reduced the strength of the trestles well below their capacity to withstand these forces, I would say it might be possible to at least partially collapse the bridge.  But I would say that is an unlikely scenario.  But you never know.  It will be interesting to see what happens if we do get a flood next week.

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On 8/19/2020 at 6:37 PM, EaDo Lou said:

If your destination is downtown, there is a quicker detour to the trail along White Oak Bayou via Stude Park.  This does require a short amount of on-street riding, but it is not too bad.

detour.jpg

 

Rather than crossing myself, kissing St. Chris, taking a deep breath, and diving into the Studewood Death Race, my recommendation is to continue down White Oak and pick up the trail to downtown either from Michaux or directly off of White Oak a couple more blocks further on down.

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13 hours ago, hindesky said:

Here is another option given by the Bayou Greenways.

bcUqcpu.png

 

This is probably the route I would take - I have a high preference for bike lanes, LC ones

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1 hour ago, august948 said:

Weren't they planning a connector from the trail north of the bridge to Stude Park?

Yes, though it's been in "planning" for years it seems 🙄 Part of the issue was getting Army Corps of Engineers approval on the minor bridge crossing that would be required. As of early this year, I heard rumors that progress was being made on moving forward with a connection but I imagine that's changed now...

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19 minutes ago, twisterhunt said:

Yes, though it's been in "planning" for years it seems 🙄 Part of the issue was getting Army Corps of Engineers approval on the minor bridge crossing that would be required. As of early this year, I heard rumors that progress was being made on moving forward with a connection but I imagine that's changed now...

I remember hearing of that connection when I first moved in this area and it was always around the corner............ back in 2012.

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1 hour ago, twisterhunt said:

Yes, though it's been in "planning" for years it seems 🙄 Part of the issue was getting Army Corps of Engineers approval on the minor bridge crossing that would be required. As of early this year, I heard rumors that progress was being made on moving forward with a connection but I imagine that's changed now...

 

Maybe this will bring some focus to the problem and help move it along.  It'd be helpful to have that connection right now.

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That connection would be great because it gives you the option of avoiding that target parking lot and crossing houston avenue and all the intersections on spring street. That's whole stretch can be slow and sketchy and crossing at stude would bypass all of it.

Edited by jermh
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4 minutes ago, flatline said:

There appears to be at least one new steel truss installed on the bridge.

So I believe that was installed a few years ago - and now they are setting up scaffolding and work space to inspect fire damage to see what else needs to be done.

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On 9/7/2020 at 8:30 AM, BigRed said:

So I believe that was installed a few years ago - and now they are setting up scaffolding and work space to inspect fire damage to see what else needs to be done.

 

The steel truss in the middle of the bridge was just completed a few months ago.  They were able to keep the bridge open while they worked on it.  Hopefully once they figure out what needs to be done to repair the fire damage they will be able to keep the bridge open while they work on it.  

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