The Philo-Duncan Falls Bridge is being inspected to make sure it’s safe for the nearly 3,000 drivers who use it every day.
The Muskingum County Engineer’s Office started a two-day fracture critical inspection of the Philo-Duncan Falls Bridge Monday morning. Bob Heady, a Design Engineer at the Muskingum County Engineer’s Office, says the Federal Highway Administration requires that bridges be inspected every two years for fracture critical inspection. Heady says during the inspection, every member of the bridge is checked to make sure it’s safe and in compliance.
"What that means in layman’s terms would be the bottom cord," Heady explained. "Which on your truss you have a top cord, you have a bottom cord. The bottom cord is in tension because it’s trying to pull apart that whole bottom cord and then every floor beam which this deck sits on top of the floor beam, every one of those. So if those would happen to break, it could be a chance that a vehicle would go down through the deck and that’s what we’re checking."
In order for the inspection to be done, $15,000 was spent on specialized equipment used to enter the river to make sure every part of the bridge can be checked.
"The inspection should hopefully take two days and then it’ll take a little bit of time to finish the paperwork so first of next week we should have some better results."
Heady says he’s hoping the bridge will be replaced in about 8 to 10 years, a project estimated at around $15 million to $20 million.