Naked City

Cosmetic Crevasses

Naked City
Photo By John Anderson

The Lamar Boulevard pedestrian bridge opened for business just a little over a year ago, yet it's already cracking. Though the crevasses appear to be cosmetic, the city has commissioned an outside engineer to check them out, said Public Works Project Manager Kalpana Sutaria. "They are sinkage cracks," Sutaria said. "We are concerned." The bridge was completed in June 2001 at a cost of $6.8 million, she said; an outside engineer will receive $6,000 to conduct the study. Sutaria says concrete usually cracks and settles, especially within the first year after going through a full cycle of seasonal changes. The concrete walkway itself isn't load bearing, she notes; 796 tons of steel and 800 cubic yards of cement bear its weight. "The walkway is just the topping," she said, "which is only done for aesthetics." Still, the city will monitor the bridge to avoid long-term problems and threats to safety. -- Jordan Smith

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