Signs of Bridge Distress and What You Can Do About It in New York

The New York City Department of Transportation owns, operates, and maintains 789 bridges and tunnels throughout New York. On an average weekday in 2010 for the busiest bridge in New York, the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge, 178,000 vehicles drive across it.

The high level of traffic that bridges receive means that if a bridge isn’t properly maintained, it may be dangerous for drivers, and may even lead to a bridge collapse. If you notice signs of bridge distress, you should report it immediately.

What is bridge distress? 

Bridge distress is the term used to describe wear and tear on a bridge that could be dangerous, and could contribute to the potential collapse of a bridge. All bridges experience distress over time, but proper repairs and maintenance can prevent deadly catastrophes from occurring. When repairs and maintenance are not performed when necessary, a bridge becomes more and more dangerous with time.

Signs of Bridge Distress

Bridge distress can be difficult to recognize for the untrained eye, and discovering it is usually the job of professionals. Some signs of bridge distress include fatigue cracks in structural beams and corrosion of the reinforcing steel beams.

Other signs that a bridge is in distress include these problems. 

  • Deck spalling: delamination of the bridge
  • Deck fascia (vertical surface of the bridge deck) cracking
  • Discoloration and cracking of the bridge railing
  • Concrete spalls on the top surface

Reporting Signs of Bridge Distress

As mentioned above, the bridges in New York are owned and maintained by the New York Department of Transportation. If you have concerns about distress on a bridge, and therefore the bridge’s safety, you can report it online through the New York Department of Transportation’s website.

You may also report a concern via telephone by calling 311. If you believe that a bridge is a danger, then you should report the distress immediately.

When You Need an Attorney

If you are injured in a bridge accident and you believe improper maintenance and bridge distress in New York City caused the accident, you may have a case for a personal injury lawsuit. This requires filing a claim with the government, which can be difficult and complex for some victims.

At Gacovino, Lake & Associates, P.C., our attorneys will work with you to get to the root of who’s at fault for your accident and help you take legal action to recover damages. To begin, call us now at 800-550-0000.

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