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Author Topic: What bridge closure would cause the most chaos/disruption?  (Read 9579 times)

Roadgeekteen

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Re: What bridge closure would cause the most chaos/disruption?
« Reply #75 on: May 28, 2021, 12:23:44 PM »

It would probably be either the Verrazano Bridge or the George Washington Bridge because it would cause people to detour through manhattan creating a cluster F**k
For the GWB, the best detour would be the Palisades Parkway to I-287.
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bwana39

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Re: What bridge closure would cause the most chaos/disruption?
« Reply #76 on: June 01, 2021, 11:24:55 AM »

Right now, my vote would be the I-55 Memphis-Arkansas bridge.  That would essentially reroute enormous amounts of freight to I-155 in MO and add around 3.5 hours to transit the area, assuming traffic isn't bottlenecked and backs it up further.  Or even worse for traffic that would have to bypass south to Helena across a 2-lane crossing.

If that happened right now, you are entirely right. With both bridges in Memphis closed. It would be sheer chaos. The Helena bridge would not be up to that task. Forget its  traffic capacity, the weight strain would be a killer.

Yes, no bridge at Memphis would be worse than using only the old bridge at Vicksburg.
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Roadgeekteen

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Re: What bridge closure would cause the most chaos/disruption?
« Reply #77 on: June 01, 2021, 12:45:55 PM »

Right now, my vote would be the I-55 Memphis-Arkansas bridge.  That would essentially reroute enormous amounts of freight to I-155 in MO and add around 3.5 hours to transit the area, assuming traffic isn't bottlenecked and backs it up further.  Or even worse for traffic that would have to bypass south to Helena across a 2-lane crossing.

If that happened right now, you are entirely right. With both bridges in Memphis closed. It would be sheer chaos. The Helena bridge would not be up to that task. Forget its  traffic capacity, the weight strain would be a killer.

Yes, no bridge at Memphis would be worse than using only the old bridge at Vicksburg.
At that point hastily put a car/truck ferry in place and hope for the best.
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mrsman

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Re: What bridge closure would cause the most chaos/disruption?
« Reply #78 on: June 13, 2021, 07:28:30 PM »

For any bridge in Missouri, it would be the I-70 Rocheport Bridge, aka the "Lynchpin of America".  Within 48 hours, cargo destined to all 48 contiguous states travel this bridge, while also being an important link between the 1st, 2nd, and 4th largest cities in the state, which I suppose is why replacing it is so important..

Alternative routes exist, though. Traffic could use US 54 to cross the Missouri at Jeff City, from there taking US 50 to US 65 back up to I-70.

I am not seeing how this bridge is as important as you state.  Certainly I-70 is an important national corridor and certainly a closure of any interstate bridge would be bothersome.  But given that this is a rural area that doesn't have too heavy of a load, there are definitely ways around this, if given enough notice.

Locally, one can detour via Jeff City, as you suggest.

Nationally, depending upon one's destinations, there are other long distance interstates taht one can use.  Cross-country trips, or even those that go about 1/2 way cross country, could probably bypass this portion of I-70 by using I-76, I-80, and I-74 between Denver and Indy, and that's for traffic stayin on I-70.  More likely than not, some cross-country traffic would not ordinarily be even on the same "latitude".  So while traffic from Seattle to Atlanta may normally utilize this section of I-70, if needed, the traffic could drop down to I-40 instead in this part of the country.
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TheGrassGuy

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Re: What bridge closure would cause the most chaos/disruption?
« Reply #79 on: June 14, 2021, 08:12:58 AM »

Closing the Ambassador Bridge (connecting Detroit to Windsor) would have horrific economic consequences. Most of Canada's auto industry is reliant on the Ambassador, as is a good chunk of the American auto industry.

While there's a tunnel connecting Detroit and Windsor, no commercial truck traffic could use it. All heavy truck traffic would be forced to cross the Blue Water Bridge in Port Huron, at least until ferry service could be ramped up.

The Gordie Howe bridge will effectively replace the Ambassador Bridge, unless the Moroun family finally strikes a truce with the Canadians to replace the Ambassador with a new bridge, or stubbornly keeps repairing the existing one.

SM-G991U

Isn't that bridge already closed due to COVID?
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GaryV

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Re: What bridge closure would cause the most chaos/disruption?
« Reply #80 on: June 14, 2021, 08:36:00 AM »

Closing the Ambassador Bridge (connecting Detroit to Windsor) would have horrific economic consequences. Most of Canada's auto industry is reliant on the Ambassador, as is a good chunk of the American auto industry.

While there's a tunnel connecting Detroit and Windsor, no commercial truck traffic could use it. All heavy truck traffic would be forced to cross the Blue Water Bridge in Port Huron, at least until ferry service could be ramped up.

The Gordie Howe bridge will effectively replace the Ambassador Bridge, unless the Moroun family finally strikes a truce with the Canadians to replace the Ambassador with a new bridge, or stubbornly keeps repairing the existing one.

SM-G991U

Isn't that bridge already closed due to COVID?

Not hardly.  While the border is closed to non-essential traffic, all the freight is essential.

At that point hastily put a car/truck ferry in place and hope for the best.

Where are you going to find one?

It would probably be quicker for the Army Corp of Engineers to build a temporary pontoon bridge (with a removable section that would open in the middle of the night for barge traffic).
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JMoses24

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Re: What bridge closure would cause the most chaos/disruption?
« Reply #81 on: June 14, 2021, 11:48:58 AM »

It would probably be either the Verrazano Bridge or the George Washington Bridge because it would cause people to detour through manhattan creating a cluster F**k
For the GWB, the best detour would be the Palisades Parkway to I-287.

Except for the trucks that could not use the Palisades Parkway. That traffic would be forced to use I-287 all the way around to the Tappan Zee.

Heck, one only needs to go back to 9/11 to see the chaos created when every bridge between New York and New Jersey in the NYC metro area except the Tappan Zee was closed. That, my friend, is a sh*t fight.
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hobsini2

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Re: What bridge closure would cause the most chaos/disruption?
« Reply #82 on: June 16, 2021, 02:14:09 PM »

For Wisconsin, I think the I-94 St Croix Bridge would be a contender.  Thank God for the new Stillwater Bridge.
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cabiness42

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Re: What bridge closure would cause the most chaos/disruption?
« Reply #83 on: June 16, 2021, 02:25:42 PM »

Chicago doesn't have one bridge that would cripple things the way New York and the Bay area would, but the Dan Ryan bridge over the Chicago River just north of the Stevenson interchange would probably be the worst one to lose. The Mile Long Bridge on the Tri-State and the Chicago River bridge on LSD would be up there as well.
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Revive 755

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Re: What bridge closure would cause the most chaos/disruption?
« Reply #84 on: June 16, 2021, 10:56:18 PM »

Chicago doesn't have one bridge that would cripple things the way New York and the Bay area would, but the Dan Ryan bridge over the Chicago River just north of the Stevenson interchange would probably be the worst one to lose. The Mile Long Bridge on the Tri-State and the Chicago River bridge on LSD would be up there as well.

Depending where the failed part is, the Dan Ryan over the Chicago River could be detoured using the Chinatown Feeder, I-55, Lake Shore Drive, and a few streets in the loop (thinking parts of Roosevelt could be temporarily reconfigured to handle some of the detour traffic). 

The Mile Long Bridge on the Tri-State would be a little harder.  Depending upon where the exact point of failure is, southbound could get a painful detour using I-55 and US 12-20-45. Northbound would have issues due to the last exit being back at 95th Street.
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kkt

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Re: What bridge closure would cause the most chaos/disruption?
« Reply #85 on: June 19, 2021, 02:55:48 PM »

One bridge closing that would be devastating (at least regionally): the Portage Lake Lift Bridge connecting Hancock and the northern Keweenaw Peninsula in Michigan's U.P. to the rest of the country.

Roughly 17,000 people reside north of the lift bridge. Two of the region's four hospitals are north of the bridge (with the next closest ones to Houghton 30 and 45 minutes away by ambulance), as well as two state parks, both ski areas, the vast majority of the Keweenaw National Historical Park, and one of the two ferries that serve Isle Royale National Park.

If the area north of the lift bridge was its own county, it would rank as the 5th most populous in the U.P., behind Marquette, Chippewa (Sault Ste. Marie), Dickinson (Escanaba), and the southern portion of Houghton County.

I would expect that the State of Michigan would quickly deploy a temporary replacement bridge in the event something disastrous happened to the Lift Bridge. But it would be seriously disruptive nonetheless.

I attended MTU back in the early '70s.  One fine spring day, a friend of mine and I decided to go over to the A&W drive-in in Ripley for a root beer and a couple of hot dogs.  As we were sitting in our car eating dinner, we noticed that SB traffic on M-26 had come to a standstill.  Turns out they were having a problem with the lift bridge. After about 30 minutes, we walked the short distance over to the bridge to see what was going on.  They had raised the bridge for ship traffic, and when they lowered it, the deck was out of alignment (north end a few inches higher than the south end) and it took about 2 hours of raising, lowering and staring at it to fix it.  My friend said during this process, "We're really in a pickle if they can't fix it." 

Find someplace to leave the car and swim?
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JREwing78

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Re: What bridge closure would cause the most chaos/disruption?
« Reply #86 on: July 18, 2021, 06:34:06 PM »

My friend said during this process, "We're really in a pickle if they can't fix it." 

Find someplace to leave the car and swim?

Depending on the time of year, you could probably just walk across the ice. But they generally don't move the bridge in winter.

But as cold as Lake Superior (and by extension the Portage Canal) gets, you're seriously risking hypothermia if you attempt that swim.
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JREwing78

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Re: What bridge closure would cause the most chaos/disruption?
« Reply #87 on: July 18, 2021, 06:36:08 PM »

Speaking of disruptive bridge closures, the Mackinac Bridge was closed for 3 hours today due to a bomb threat. Glad we didn't get to find out what an extended Mackinac Bridge closure would look like.

https://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/police-bomb-threat-closed-mackinac-bridge-hours-78916569
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CNGL-Leudimin

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Re: What bridge closure would cause the most chaos/disruption?
« Reply #88 on: July 19, 2021, 06:09:56 AM »

The Bidasoa river bridge at the Spain/France border on AP-8/A63. That being one of the two main border crossings between the two countries, chaos is absolutely guaranteed to happen if it was to shut down.
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kkt

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Re: What bridge closure would cause the most chaos/disruption?
« Reply #89 on: August 09, 2021, 02:06:46 PM »

Tower Bridge in London is stuck open.  Traffic is backed up very badly on both sides of the Thames.
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Rothman

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Re: What bridge closure would cause the most chaos/disruption?
« Reply #90 on: August 09, 2021, 03:40:53 PM »

Tower Bridge in London is stuck open.  Traffic is backed up very badly on both sides of the Thames.
So...it's not falling down?
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Bruce

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Re: What bridge closure would cause the most chaos/disruption?
« Reply #91 on: August 09, 2021, 08:45:21 PM »

Tower Bridge in London is stuck open.  Traffic is backed up very badly on both sides of the Thames.


Coincidentally, Tom Scott just made a bridge explaining what goes into opening the bridge.

kkt

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Re: What bridge closure would cause the most chaos/disruption?
« Reply #92 on: August 09, 2021, 09:12:10 PM »

Tower Bridge in London is stuck open.  Traffic is backed up very badly on both sides of the Thames.
So...it's not falling down?

London Bridge and Tower Bridge are two different bridges.  Just ask Arizona.
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Rothman

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Re: What bridge closure would cause the most chaos/disruption?
« Reply #93 on: August 10, 2021, 12:01:32 AM »

Tower Bridge in London is stuck open.  Traffic is backed up very badly on both sides of the Thames.
So...it's not falling down?

London Bridge and Tower Bridge are two different bridges.  Just ask Arizona.
But...it's not falling down.
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TheHighwayMan394

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Re: What bridge closure would cause the most chaos/disruption?
« Reply #94 on: August 10, 2021, 03:20:41 AM »

The Twin Cities have enough redundancies built in that even when this did happen for real, it was a fairly well-managed situation given the circumstances.

I'm going to go with I-694 across the Mississippi River in Brooklyn Center, because the alternatives are not only not particularly accessible in this case (MN 252 to MN 610/US 10 to 35W, or I-94 through downtown Minneapolis to I-35W), but there are two critical highway junctions on I-694 adjacent to this bridge (I-94/MN 252 and MN 100) that would be severely impacted.

Losing I-494 across the Minnesota River would create chaotic airport access issues for the east metro.

I-94 at Hudson would more regionally be a disaster. While the new bridge on MN 36 could help with crossing the river itself better than what was there before, getting to/from 94 on the Wisconsin side would be miserable. WIS 35 through Hudson couldn't handle it. WIS 65 and US 63 between 94 and WIS 64 are rural two-lane roads. Long-distance traffic heading deep into Wisconsin would almost be forced to be detoured US 52 to I-90.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2021, 03:38:51 AM by TheHighwayMan394 »
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kphoger

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Re: What bridge closure would cause the most chaos/disruption?
« Reply #95 on: August 10, 2021, 10:11:20 AM »



Tower Bridge in London is stuck open.  Traffic is backed up very badly on both sides of the Thames.

So...it's not falling down?

London Bridge and Tower Bridge are two different bridges.  Just ask Arizona.

He meant London bridge, not London Bridge.  Subtle difference.
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Flint1979

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Re: What bridge closure would cause the most chaos/disruption?
« Reply #96 on: August 10, 2021, 01:06:33 PM »

My friend said during this process, "We're really in a pickle if they can't fix it." 

Find someplace to leave the car and swim?

Depending on the time of year, you could probably just walk across the ice. But they generally don't move the bridge in winter.

But as cold as Lake Superior (and by extension the Portage Canal) gets, you're seriously risking hypothermia if you attempt that swim.
I went out for a boat ride in the Pictured Rocks area yesterday and watched a guy do a flip right into Lake Superior and saw two people standing up on a cliff about 80 feet above the water and I shouted out JUMP to them lol, they didn't thank god. But watching someone jump into that water I was thinking damn that's cold then I looked and the water was 68 degrees. I'd hate to be on that sandbar by Sand Point where the water is 4-5 feet deep for about a half mile out into the lake then takes a drop to 65 feet deep within a few feet.
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kphoger

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Re: What bridge closure would cause the most chaos/disruption?
« Reply #97 on: August 10, 2021, 01:30:08 PM »

Our former pastor used to live in Houghton, and they did baptisms in Lake Superior.

For what it's worth, the water temperature in Los Angeles today is about one degree colder than in Sault Ste Marie.
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TheHighwayMan394

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Re: What bridge closure would cause the most chaos/disruption?
« Reply #98 on: August 10, 2021, 05:06:59 PM »

Our former pastor used to live in Houghton, and they did baptisms in Lake Superior.

Speaking of Houghton, the scope of this thread warrants a mention of US 41/M-26 across Portage Lake, since there are no other road crossings and it would cut the northern half of the Keweenaw Peninsula off from all land access.
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cabiness42

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Re: What bridge closure would cause the most chaos/disruption?
« Reply #99 on: August 10, 2021, 05:17:41 PM »

Our former pastor used to live in Houghton, and they did baptisms in Lake Superior.

Speaking of Houghton, the scope of this thread warrants a mention of US 41/M-26 across Portage Lake, since there are no other road crossings and it would cut the northern half of the Keweenaw Peninsula off from all land access.

Wow, I think I'd be hesitant to live on the other side of that bridge. I'm guessing there's no hospital on the north side.
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