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Author Topic: What bridge closure would cause the most chaos/disruption?  (Read 10542 times)

Roadgeekteen

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Inspired by the Hernando De Soto bridge closing. I would go with either the George Washington Bridge or the Bay Bridge.
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Re: What bridge closure would cause the most chaos/disruption?
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2021, 10:48:42 PM »

Any of the Bay Area Bridges would be a disaster.
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Re: What bridge closure would cause the most chaos/disruption?
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2021, 10:50:35 PM »

The I-95 Tydings Bridge in Maryland.  There isn't an easy way around that which could handle the traffic, including local roadways and other bridges.
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Roadgeekteen

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Re: What bridge closure would cause the most chaos/disruption?
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2021, 10:53:07 PM »

The I-95 Tydings Bridge in Maryland.  There isn't an easy way around that which could handle the traffic, including local roadways and other bridges.
At least the 4 lane US 40 bridge is nearby.
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Re: What bridge closure would cause the most chaos/disruption?
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2021, 11:34:04 PM »

Inspired by the Hernando De Soto bridge closing. I would go with either the George Washington Bridge or the Bay Bridge.

Remember when there was a gasoline tanker truck fire directly under the 580 ramp over 880, so that coming off the Bay Bridge your only option was I-80 east?  And southbound 880 was also blocked by the fallen 580 ramp?  Fun times.
Caltrans and their contractor C. C. Myers are to be congratulated on getting it reopened in only a week.
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Re: What bridge closure would cause the most chaos/disruption?
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2021, 11:42:34 PM »

Yeah, the GWB makes sense at the top of the list, but really, there are so many examples across the country that maybe we could break it down by each metro area...

For my area, it would be I-490 over the Genesee River. Also honorable mention for NY 104 over the Irondequoit Bay because there are so few alternates, and the routes south of the bay are already very busy.

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Re: What bridge closure would cause the most chaos/disruption?
« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2021, 11:49:45 PM »

I am sure many recall when Canada's road network was split in two by this bridge closure in 2016:

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/thunder-bay/nipigon-river-bridge-closed-transcanada-1.3397831
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Roadgeekteen

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Re: What bridge closure would cause the most chaos/disruption?
« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2021, 11:51:17 PM »

In Boston probably the Zakim Bridge.
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Re: What bridge closure would cause the most chaos/disruption?
« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2021, 12:07:46 AM »

The I-95 Tydings Bridge in Maryland.  There isn't an easy way around that which could handle the traffic, including local roadways and other bridges.
At least the 4 lane US 40 bridge is nearby.
Yeah, but I'm not entirely sure it can handle the traffic that would normally take the Tydings Bridge for a long enough time.

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Roadgeekteen

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Re: What bridge closure would cause the most chaos/disruption?
« Reply #9 on: May 15, 2021, 12:09:30 AM »

I just thought of the Delaware Memorial Bridge. It would cause a traffic nightmare in Philly, although it would be a bit better now that I-95 has been completed.
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dlsterner

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Re: What bridge closure would cause the most chaos/disruption?
« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2021, 12:16:53 AM »

At least for the MD/DC/VA area, I would think that the Woodrow Wilson Bridge would be at or near the top of the list.  (For the non-locals, the I-95/495 bridge across the Potomac).

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Re: What bridge closure would cause the most chaos/disruption?
« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2021, 12:27:00 AM »

Any of the three Hampton Roads crossings, though more notably the interstate ones.

US-17 JRB, I-664 MMMBT, I-64 HRBT
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Re: What bridge closure would cause the most chaos/disruption?
« Reply #12 on: May 15, 2021, 12:50:19 AM »

Any of the three Hampton Roads crossings, though more notably the interstate ones.

US-17 JRB, I-664 MMMBT, I-64 HRBT

All 3 were closed simultaneously in 2009, evidently that was a shitstorm of epic proportions.

If anyone has seen the newest 24 series, the GWB was the subject of a truck bombing. Honestly, I think that is a very scary thing that, if it happened, would have effects on a regional, or possibly national, scale. I believe that they have truck inspections entering the bridge to avoid this, but I can think of many busy/important bridges that donít. Itís scary to think that someone with bad intentions could cripple an entire regionís transportation network.
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Roadgeekteen

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Re: What bridge closure would cause the most chaos/disruption?
« Reply #13 on: May 15, 2021, 01:02:57 AM »

Any of the three Hampton Roads crossings, though more notably the interstate ones.

US-17 JRB, I-664 MMMBT, I-64 HRBT

All 3 were closed simultaneously in 2009, evidently that was a shitstorm of epic proportions.

If anyone has seen the newest 24 series, the GWB was the subject of a truck bombing. Honestly, I think that is a very scary thing that, if it happened, would have effects on a regional, or possibly national, scale. I believe that they have truck inspections entering the bridge to avoid this, but I can think of many busy/important bridges that donít. Itís scary to think that someone with bad intentions could cripple an entire regionís transportation network.
I would imagine that I-287 would get crazy if the GWB was closed, same with the two tunnels.
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michravera

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Re: What bridge closure would cause the most chaos/disruption?
« Reply #14 on: May 15, 2021, 02:36:05 AM »

Any of the Bay Area Bridges would be a disaster.

We had the Bay bridge closed for several weeks after the Loma Prieta earthquake. It wasn't fun, but, since the BART tube came through it OK, life wasn't impossible. We also have CASR-92, I-580, CASR-84, -237, and -37 to get you around or over The Bay. We have I-280, -580, -880, and -980 as alternates for each other.  We have quite a bit of built in redundancy such that, once the immediate problem is resolved (people get off of the Bridge that had the initial problem), long term people can work around most closures. For example, CASR-99, I-5, and US-101 (and to a certain extent US-395 and CASR-65 where built can, if you know about a problem far enough in advance, be used in place of each other. Same goes for US-50 and I-80. Same goes for CASR-41, -46, and -58. Also, CASR-25, -152, and -156. Now, I won't say that we have a lot of excess capacity to deal with any single failure, but people would be able to get where they want to go.

My hunch is that there is a bridge over some gully along either I-8, -10, or -15 around which it might not be possible easily to work. Once again, as long as it were only one gully on one of these roads, before long people would figure a way around it (possibly using one of the others mentioned), but, off hand, it looks like there would be serious diversions for those who are unprepared.

If you want to cause the most inconvenience to the most people for the longest period of time, find a heavily populated island group with water that is too shallow to take ocean-going vessels. So, my guess is that you might find such a bridge in the Florida Keys.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2021, 12:19:46 AM by michravera »
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Roadgeekteen

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Re: What bridge closure would cause the most chaos/disruption?
« Reply #15 on: May 15, 2021, 02:40:32 AM »

Any of the Bay Area Bridges would be a disaster.

We had the Bay bridge closed for several weeks after the Loma Prieta earthquake. It wasn't fun, but, since the BART tube came through it OK, life wasn't impossible. We also have CASR-92, I-580, CASR-84, -237, and -37 to get you around or over The Bay. We have I-280, -580, -880, and -980 as alternates for each other.  We have quite a bit of built in redundancy such that, once the immediate problem is resolved (people get off of the Bridge that had the initial problem), long term people can work around most closures. For example, CASR-99, I-5, and US-101 (and to a certain extend US-395 and CASR-65 where built can, if you know about a problem far enough in advance, be used in place of each other. Same goes for US-50 and I-80. Same goes for CASR-41, -46, and -58. Also, CASR-25, -152, and -156. Now, I won't say that we have a lot of excess capacity to deal with any single failure, but people would be able to get where they want to go.

My hunch is that there is a bridge over some gully along either I-8, -10, or -15 around which it might not be possible easily to work. Once again, as long as it were only one gully on one of these roads, before long people would figure a way around it (possibly using one of the others mentioned), but, off hand, it looks like there would be serious diversions for those who are unprepared.

If you want to cause the most inconvenience to the most people for the longest period of time, find a heavily populated island group with water that is too shallow to take ocean-going vessels. So, my guess is that you might find such a bridge in the Florida Keys.
Oh I forgot about the CA 91 bridge.
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Great Lakes Roads

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Re: What bridge closure would cause the most chaos/disruption?
« Reply #16 on: May 15, 2021, 03:34:31 AM »

The Sherman Milton Bridge (I-64) in the Louisville metro area... If this bridge closed right now, well... it would cause traffic chaos, especially the Clark Memorial Bridge (US 31) would be the only "toll-free" option to cross the Ohio River in the Louisville metro...
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sprjus4

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Re: What bridge closure would cause the most chaos/disruption?
« Reply #17 on: May 15, 2021, 04:06:23 AM »

It would only be right to suspend or significantly reduce toll rates on the I-265 bridge if something were to happen with I-64.

Would it cost money? Sure. But build it into the cost of repairs on I-64.

Hereís an example that goes with this thread and of removing the toll on a route as a needed detour - the Pensacola Bay Bridge.
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jeffandnicole

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Re: What bridge closure would cause the most chaos/disruption?
« Reply #18 on: May 15, 2021, 08:08:19 AM »

The I-95 Tydings Bridge in Maryland.  There isn't an easy way around that which could handle the traffic, including local roadways and other bridges.
At least the 4 lane US 40 bridge is nearby.

I was waiting for this, and it didn't take long for the crticial thinking aspect of this exercise to fall apart. Yes, the 4 lane US 40 bridge is nearby. Which already handles a good amount of traffic. Now, put 10 lanes of traffic on a 4 lane bridge and see how that would work out. Both bridges experience congestion already.

Also, it's not just the bridge, it's getting to the bridge. You can't put tens of thousands of cars on local roads without the entire area becoming a major cluster. Locals still need to get around.

Truck traffic would also be unbearable for the region.

Using 301 to bypass the region would help for poong distance traffic. But it's a detour one would.need to know well in advance.
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Re: What bridge closure would cause the most chaos/disruption?
« Reply #19 on: May 15, 2021, 09:29:30 AM »

Any of the three Hampton Roads crossings, though more notably the interstate ones.

US-17 JRB, I-664 MMMBT, I-64 HRBT

All 3 were closed simultaneously in 2009, evidently that was a shitstorm of epic proportions.

If anyone has seen the newest 24 series, the GWB was the subject of a truck bombing. Honestly, I think that is a very scary thing that, if it happened, would have effects on a regional, or possibly national, scale. I believe that they have truck inspections entering the bridge to avoid this, but I can think of many busy/important bridges that donít. Itís scary to think that someone with bad intentions could cripple an entire regionís transportation network.
Don't take fiction for reality.
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Re: What bridge closure would cause the most chaos/disruption?
« Reply #20 on: May 15, 2021, 10:16:41 AM »

For a long detour, the Mackinac Bridge would be a contender.  Over twice as long as if the Chesapeake Bridge/Tunnel was closed.
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ozarkman417

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Re: What bridge closure would cause the most chaos/disruption?
« Reply #21 on: May 15, 2021, 11:47:27 AM »

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.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2021, 11:50:35 AM by ozarkman417 »
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Re: What bridge closure would cause the most chaos/disruption?
« Reply #22 on: May 15, 2021, 11:58:54 AM »

The George Washington Bridge for sure.  Or basically any bridge in NYC.
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Re: What bridge closure would cause the most chaos/disruption?
« Reply #23 on: May 15, 2021, 12:13:45 PM »

The Horace Wilkinson Bridge in Baton Rouge would be a complete disaster if it closed. All through traffic would have to use the US 190 bridge instead, and traffic backs up already on the I-10 bridge to boot.

On a lesser extent, the I-20 bridge in Vicksburg. The closest river bridges to that are Natchez and Greenville.
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Re: What bridge closure would cause the most chaos/disruption?
« Reply #24 on: May 15, 2021, 12:51:25 PM »

For sheer inconvenience to anyone that used it, I'd go with the Mackinac Bridge. Your alternatives are a ferry or you go the opposite way around nearly the entire circumference of Lake Michigan.

Otherwise I can't think of too many that'd be worse than the Memphis bridge. That's got to be in the top five on the list, I think just by virtue that there's only one alternative which isn't a great one and runs into a substandard interchange, and then the fact that I-40 is, well, I-40.



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