Bridge project manager blames Clearwater

The full text of CONTECH project manager Robert Carlson's e-mail to Clearwater city officials regarding the pedestrian bridge connecting the north and south fishing piers near the Mandalay Channel Bridge:

Published May 31, 2007

From: Carlson, Robert
Sent: Tuesday, April 03, 2007 4:41 PM
To: Focsan, Chris; Yates, Darryl
Cc: Josef, Veronica; Phillips, Sue; Bahnick, Glen; Quillen, Michael; Brown, Jason
Subject: RE: "STEADFAST BRIDGES" - Clearwater Beach Pedestrian Bridge under FDOT Bridge #43


We have reviewed the pictures and feel that the bridge is beyond proper repair. It would probably be more costly to attempt to repair the individual members, blast the bridge, and repaint, than it would be to consider a replacement. The cost of containment for blasting and painting alone would be very expensive.

The bridge is in very harsh environmental conditions, susceptible to salts, excessive water and waves, with possible submersion. All bridges require routine inspection and maintenance of the structure. Additionally, painted structures should be periodically inspected for any damage to the paint coat in order to protect the steel from corrosion and increase the life span of the bridge. In this case, it appears that a lack of routine inspection and maintenance to combat the environmental conditions accelerated the corrosion of the bridge.

Unfortunately, the 15 year limited warranty is against defects in materials and workmanship in manufacture and the paint system carries a one year warranty under normal atmospheric conditions. We do not see where the warranty would bear on this issue.

We would be pleased to provide you with a new price of a replacement structure. There our newer paint systems on the market as well as the use of weathering steel that would better protect the structure in this oceanic environment.

Additionally, with the engineering drawings in hand, we would not be starting from scratch and could quickly submit updated drawings and intern release the structures for fabrication sooner than normal.

Please let us know if we can be of further assistance.


Robert Carlson
Project Manager