On-line Opinion Magazine…OK, it's a blog
Random header image... Refresh for more!

More Quality Local Construction

The Local Puppy Trainer covers that quality in Walton County: New $4.6 million beach access lot needs repairs

MIRAMAR BEACH – Less than two weeks after a ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the reopening of the Miramar Regional Beach Access, a crew already is at work repairing damage to the parking deck.

What caused the crack in the pavement is not clear, but those involved with the project suspect it was caused by an overweight UPS truck that drove into the lot on Tuesday or Wednesday, said Sonny Mares, executive director of the Beaches of South Walton Tourist Development Council.

The TDC helped fund the $4.6 million project, which took about eight months to complete.

A UPS truck? This sucker broke because a UPS truck drove on it?

This is what you get with low bid. I sure didn’t see any rebar in the picture.


1 Jack K., the Grumpy Forester { 05.29.09 at 10:23 pm }

…without putting too fine a point on what most of my efforts to earn my daily bread involve, the pictures and article suggest a pretty straight-forward design failure. Apparently this is some sort of elevated bridge-like structure sitting on pilings, and the new pavement appears to be a fiber-reinforced concrete rather that a concrete pavement reinforced with either wire mesh or rebar. If the underlying substructure is itself load-limited, rebar would be an unlikely reinforcing choice because of the extra loading it places on that substructure, but wire mesh (which is the usual choice for things like sidewalks, garage slabs, and such) would be a likely choice…

Basic rule of thumb: concrete is an inflexible pavement; hot bituminous asphalt mix is a flexible pavement. Expansion joints don’t provide for flexibility within pavement panels; they only allow for movement between panels, and a thin concrete pavement panel reinforced with some sort of polymer strands added to the mix rather than some structural component like reinforcing steel or wire mesh can’t handle point axle loadings in the same way as a concrete pavement panel incorporating that structural component – and can’t do it nearly as well as a flexible asphalt pavement structure. There are obvious questions about why they didn’t go with a more flexible asphalt pavement (which could be thinner and lighter) or, given the decision to go with a concrete pavement, why they didn’t use some sort of positive internal reinforcement like rebar or wire mesh (which the photos suggest that they didn’t)…

I can only guess that the local authority must have also been interested in banning snowbirds and vacationers from the parking structure, given that 10,000-lbs vehicle GVW limit, because there isn’t much other than the very smallest Class C or medium-sized or smaller Class B Recreational Vehicle that crosses the finish line under that weight limit…

2 Bryan { 05.29.09 at 10:44 pm }

The use platform/pier construction on the beach to avoid using red clay, the standard base around here, because it dyes the sand. Asphalt is a real problem because it can get very sticky in the summer and the assumption is that people will be barefoot coming from the beach.

They use the fiber reinforced concrete a lot down here, but I want metal in the slab. It is an automatic choice for sidewalks, and it should have certainly been used for a parking structure, no matter what the specifications say.

The load limit is unrealistic. An SUV towing a boat can top that at the rear axle, depending on how the boat is loaded and the trailer configured. They obviously need to be more specific about what vehicles can use the lot, or wait until after the next hurricane and rebuild it properly. It’s going to be a pain if you need your car towed out of the lot.

3 Steve Bates { 05.30.09 at 11:45 am }

Once, long ago, I had the unpleasant duty of calling the City of Houston Parks and Recreation Department about a problem with one of the hike-and-bike trails that run along most of our bayous. For about two weeks, there was a gap of perhaps 20 feet in the asphalt; the gap was full of loose sand. Of course one cannot ride a bicycle, at least not the kind city folk usually own, in sand; I came close to falling several times before I learned to get off and walk around that patch. When I phoned the city, the (actually rather decent) bureaucrat said she’d inquire, and she did: the crew assigned to that problem actually considered the sand to be a repair. The gap was repaired properly in a couple of days, and subsequent repairs were properly repaired with asphalt. I do not know if the sand-dumping idiot was fired or not. I wonder if he had the low-bid contract…

Steve Bates´s last blog post..Friday Window Blogging

4 Bryan { 05.30.09 at 12:25 pm }

Come on, Steve, that patch was perfect for a hike-and-trail as it insured that bikers would have to do a little hiking. 😉

I know what you mean about trying to ride in it as sand is all we have down here, and the upgrades ran to red clay, then crushed oyster shells, before you got to asphalt.

At least they fixed it. They are replacing the busted panel with the same type of panel that failed.

5 Steve Bates { 05.30.09 at 1:59 pm }

I certainly got my hiking in! 🙂

I learned to ride on red clay in my grandmother’s tiny East Texas home town. I can ride on shell if necessary, though it’s hard on tires. But sand… loose sand, not packed, wet sand… is very nearly impossible to negotiate on the tires most common on touring bikes; you need some sort of road bike for that. By now, most people in Houston ride bikes probably better suited to sand, but in those days, practically no one had a fat-tire bicycle. And I don’t want to think about joggers on that trail. Everybody had to go off-trail to get past.

Steve Bates´s last blog post..Friday Window Blogging

6 Bryan { 05.30.09 at 2:40 pm }

Red clay is fine if doesn’t get wet, them the bike gets a bit heavy. The shell will do a job on you as well as your tires if you get dumped.

Loose sand is just a major pain, no matter how you try to get through it, and I have big tires. It’s just as hard to walk in it and is a good deal more tiring than other surfaces. I bought a special cart to move things that has the widest tires I could find, because my wheelbarrow was worthless in the sand.

You can’t jog in dry sand unless you want to injure yourself. It’s for little kids to play in, or cats to use as a toilet.