Where are new bridge’s expansion joints?

The in basket: Vern Braaten of Seabeck writes, “With the recent collapse of the Minneapolis Minnesota’s bridge, it makes me wonder about our own Narrows bridge. 
“Since I travel across it every day, I’m wondering where the expansion sections are located? The old bridge has them all the way across, between each lane. The only ones I see on the new bridge is the strip at each end. Whatz up ?”


The in basket: Vern Braaten of Seabeck writes, “With the recent collapse of the Minneapolis Minnesota’s bridge, it makes me wonder about our own Narrows bridge. 
“Since I travel across it every day, I’m wondering where the expansion sections are located? The old bridge has them all the way across, between each lane. The only ones I see on the new bridge is the strip at each end. Whatz up ?”
The out basket: The strips at each end are, in fact, the only two expansion joints in the new bridge. It is a feature of which the designers are proud. It allows the bridge deck to be a seamless, bumpless ride all the way across, with the two big expansion joints accommodating the swelling and shrinking that it takes 44 expansion joints every 120 feet to handle on the old bridge.
One of those two expansion joints, incidentally, is the heavy piece of bridge that got stuck in Spokane for many days this spring until a new hauler distributed its weight on the trailer to the State Patrol’s satisfaction.

One thought on “Where are new bridge’s expansion joints?

  1. Minneapolis Minnesota’s bridge – This happened on my first day at work downtown Minneapolis. I was having a beer with my boss afterwards and suddenly all these emergency vehicles started going by, I had no idea, then when I got to my car a few minutes later I heard on the radio what happened and it was all so surreal, like that happened so close, and people I know were on the bridge when it happened. Its so bizarre how those things happen inside your head, I remember trying to call people to tell them I was ok and the phone lines were jammed. What a tragic day and how strange to be so close when something like that happens. Lets just hope that it doesn’t keep happening.

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