U of L professor not surprised by crack in bridge - WDRB 41 Louisville News

U of L professor not surprised by crack in bridge

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- To some people, it's not surprising a crack formed in the Sherman Minton bridge.

Professor Mark McGinley, with U of L's Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, says steel can generate cracks after enough time, and from the constant heavy loads on it.

He says a small crack can be easier to repair and can consist of drilling holes on either side of the crack to relieve stress and allow it to stop.

However, as it gets larger, crews have more work on their hands.

"They can weld it. They can put plates on either side to help support it. They can tear that element out and replace those systems in those specific areas. They can strengthen those areas by putting cover-plates over that and re-welding that whole area. There's a lot of different things they can do," says McGinley.

Officials still say it will take several weeks to take a look at the bridge before they know just how many cracks they are dealing with, and how long the repair time will take.

The bridge was shutdown Friday, September 9 after a crack in a beam was discovered the previous day.

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