Update: Chili Avenue Bridge could reopen as early as the weekend

Updated: 05/13/2014 11:16 PM
Created: 05/13/2014 3:29 PM WHEC.com
By: Amanda Ciavarri

It was one week ago that the Chili Avenue Bridge between Gates and Rochester was shut down because of concerns over its safety. News10NBC learned that bridge could reopen to traffic as early as the weekend. 

Workers will start the major repairs Wednesday. The plan is to have the bridge open by the weekend, but is that too soon for drivers to feel comfortable?

Christen Miller said, “It feels like they are rushing it, but they are the experts, we have to trust they know what they are doing.”

Crews have removed rivets and there are holes and cracks in the steel. News10NBC wanted to know what kinds of repairs are needed. We took that question to Roseann Schmid, the Director of Transportation at Fisher Associates, which is an engineering firm.

Roseann Schmid, Fisher Associates, said, “You could splice a steel plate over a hole or you could cut out an actual portion of the steel and replace the entire section.”

Schmid says depending on the size of the holes, the repair could be done in a few days. The New York Department of Transportation says it will be open this weekend and minor repairs will continue. That is welcome news for one man who says the closure is a hassle.

Tim Scales said, “It is making me have to go around in circles. I've got my kids with me and I’m just trying to make it to a local restaurant.”

So how is it that inspectors missed the damage, but painters found it?  News10NBC learned that painters use sandblasters to prep the steel and that could've taken off some built-up rust that would expose the hole.     

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