why the bridge needs renovation
The primary reason behind this renovation project is ensuring the safety of all who use the Walnut Street Pedestrian Bridge. The City of Chattanooga places the highest priority on the safety and well-being of our residents and visitors, and we are committed to taking all necessary actions to mitigate any potential risks.
Our beloved bridge has served us for many years, providing a scenic pathway across the Tennessee River. However, the passage of time, exposure to the elements, and continued use have contributed to the natural wear and tear of the bridge's infrastructure. A recent comprehensive inspection has revealed areas of the bridge that need critical attention and repair, making renovation no longer an option but a necessity.
One of the most common issues with steel bridges. When exposed to moisture and oxygen, steel can corrode, leading to rust formation. Over time, this weakens the structural integrity of the bridge. Areas where water can accumulate, like the joints or where the steel meets the foundation, are especially vulnerable.
Wooden deck deficiencies on a bridge can manifest in various ways, signaling the need for maintenance or repair:
Rot and Decay: Prolonged exposure to moisture can cause wood to rot, particularly if the drainage on the deck is poor or if it's in a humid environment. This can significantly weaken the deck's structural integrity.
Cracking and Splitting: Over time, the stresses of repeated use, weather fluctuations, and aging can cause cracks or splits in the wood.
Warping: Due to moisture variations and temperature fluctuations, wooden boards can warp, leading to an uneven or unsafe walking surface.
Loose Fasteners: Screws, nails, and other fasteners can become loose over time, making the deck unstable or creating tripping hazards.
Wear and Tear: General foot traffic, especially in high-traffic areas, can wear down protective finishes and the wood surface itself, exposing it to more rapid deterioration.
The current electrical infrastructure on the bridge is insufficient and unsafe.