That is my concern as well. With these bridges you have to look underneath. That is where the problems often show up first. I know that the collapse of the Columbia Bridge was a complete an unpleasant surprise for me. I would hate for the folks of Windsor Harbor to have the same unpleasant surprise. I suspect that both of these bridges are / were subject to a slowly developing problem.
Let's just hope that precarious footing on the substructure doesn't cause problems! At least it seems to be moving slowly.
This bridge is being besieged by backwaters from the Mississippi River.
News article and video which shows the bridge:
In all seriousness though, I was going to ask when James' photographs were taken. They seem to show the bridge in the same position. It truly amazes me how a bridge can sit in a precarious position for so many years, yet other bridges collapse without warning. Ie, the Columbia Bridge in Kansas.
It must have been built by the Cant-ing Bridge Company. Sorry, bad joke...
I'm not overly concerned, as the bridge looks the exact same as it did when I first visited in 2004.
Is anyone (James?) familiar with this bridge? It is described as "preserved" on this website yet appears to be on the verge of collapse due to failing substructure. Can anyone please clarify the status of this nationally significant bridge?
Man, the support structure is scary!
Not much of a bridge geek but this article may help to clarify things, it has some blow apart diagrams and cross sections that look interesting...
Hoping to visit this bridge in person and see for myself what these keystone columns are all about :-)
Some of the design differences in the exact shape of the Keystone columns have to do with the size of the column. Different designs for different sizes. That explains some of the differences between members on WIBC bowstrings as well as Keystone column bridges like Mead Avenue in PA. Two designs:
However, as for this particular bridge it is indeed an unusual variation and I really don't know a lot about it. The little brackets you mention are both functional and decorative and are designed to look like little hands grabbing the parts of the column.
Anthony, I think that you are right. I have spent some time puzzling over this bridge as well. I have interpreted the columns to be Keystone Columns that have not been fully sutured. The components of the column seem to be held together by some type of bracket.
Are you referring to WIBC's "Plate and Channel" bowstrings? Like this one: http://www.historicbridges.org/michigan/bennettpark/index.ph... You would think these would be more common, but I have only seen a small number.
I have to admit, I am pretty unfamiliar with the Keystone columns. After looking at this bridge, which was built by the Keystone Bridge Company I see the flat sections of the column like the ones on the WIBC bowstrings. Would be interesting to know what made them choose one over the other with each job.
I had read somewhere (wish I could remember where!) that the Wrought Iron Bridge Company supposedly did have another type of "non-tubular" bowstring. Probably the same thing you are speaking of Nathan.