LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Bolts securing Stephens College pedestrian bridges are no longer effective

Thursday, June 14, 2012 | 6:00 a.m. CDT

Update on Stephens College bridges:

On May 2, the city informed me that these are private bridges. I asked if they had been inspected. Within 15 minutes, I was given a 10-page report made April 29-30, 2009. Three years old.

The inspection concluded that the 16 bolts securing the bridges, the inside walkway bolts, had been dissolved by ice melt. The outer bolts lost the best percent of their effective section.

It is understood the replacement bolts will be stainless steel. How about the plates that anchor to the beams?

The June 13 St. Louis Post-Dispatch editorial page article "That rusting Arch" worries about stains on the outside the Arch. A picture of that structure's anchor bolts looks just like the bolts I pictured.

I suggest St. Louis check the bolts that anchor their structure.

Harry R. Weitkemper is a Columbia resident.

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Ellis Smith June 14, 2012 | 8:55 a.m.

Regardless of the metallurgy or the fasteners, there should be an annual inspection. Expensive? You bought that requirement when you bought the bridge.

There is at least one overpass bridge in Columbia owned by University of Missouri. Is there an inspection schedule for that [those] bridge[s]?

[I worked summers while in college for the fabricator that erected the Arch in St. Louis: Pittsburgh-Des Moines Steel. It was quite a feat in that they began construction at the two bases of the arch and then got the two "halves" to meet and join perfectly at the top.]

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