The Mid-Bay Bridge over Choctawatchee Bay in Florida reopened to passenger vehicles on January 16, but remains closed to overweight loads, WEAR TV reports. Eight of the bridge’s 870 tendons, tightly wound cables encased in plastic tubes, were found to have some corrosion during inspections in 2018, so the bridge was closed on January 8 to replace the tendons.
Two of the corroded tendons were close together, which brought more concern. “Two tendons in one span is a bad deal,” said Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) Structural Engineer April Williams, according to the news agency. “So that is when the decision was made to close the bridge.”
The rest of the bridge tendons will be inspected over the next six months, and through monthly inspections for two years. Engineers hit the tendon with a hammer. If it causes a vibration, there is no corrosion.
“Every six months, every tendon will be inspected with a hammer. A hands-on inspection. That averages out to 125 tendons a month,” Williams said, according to the news agency, adding that the plan could cost more than $1 million.