City Council approves replacement of Barton Springs bridge

$37 Million for the new bridge. What do you want to bet that goes up. That is crazy money for such a small span. This about $20 million more than it should cost.

Assume 50 people working each day for 365 days @ $500 per day = $9 million

Assume 2000 yards of concrete @ $200 per yard= $400,000 which is excessive given your avg mcmansion in Zilker uses about 100 yards for the foundation

Assume another $400,000 for rebar which is also excessively high. Typically around $2000 in the average Mcmansion. So we are at $10 million for your substantial costs. leaving $7 million left over of other things. Which there would be. Like demo of the old bridge etc. Now how do we make up the other $20 million?
There are 600,000 bridges in the US. We aren’t doing something new here. The engineering isn’t that difficult.

other engineering examinations have shown the existing bridge to be structurally sound and that only the decking needs to be replaced and upgraded for substantially cheaper than what has been proposed. there are older bridges in town that get as much or more traffic but that aren’t being targeted for replacement. the recent road diet on BS has reduced the need for widening to accommodate bike/ped traffic so i’m not sure what the rush to replace this bridge is about.

My guess is the costs include the lawyers fees for all the lawsuits that will be filed and probably construction costs assuming some portion will need to remain open during high traffic times.

How many bridges have you built? Impressive.

The sidewalk on the bridge is inadequate. Each sidewalk is barely wide enough for two way foot traffic, assuming people are making an effort to squeeze in, no strollers, etc.

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Truth. The Zilker Vision Plan contemplated an additional pedestrian bridge as well, which would be cool.

It’s really unfortunate that the pedestrian bridges aren’t planned anymore, particularly the ones near the pool.

Sounds like construction of the car bridge will block access to the trail underneath and there isn’t really a great alternative all-ages route connecting to the Barton Hills Dr bike lane. I’m doubtful biking down Azie Morton will be a good alternative during construction.

Here is a very very very big document for the project. Incredibly repetitive and hard to scan.

https://services.austintexas.gov/edims/document.cfm?id=420468

I picked out some interesting tidbits though. First a screenshot showing all that it entails. It is not just the bridge. It is a big realignment of sidewalks and roads. If you look closely, it is also a widening of Azzie morton to allow for a more of a right turn lane and a decent set of sidewalks of bike lanes on it. All of this will also involve redoing the retaining wall on the hill which has always looked like it would collapse in the right storm for as long as I’ve known it.

(from page 535)

On page 51 is the cost estimate for the bridge and all the other structures which will be about 12 Million, so @brentcooke you can rest assured the city is not overpaying for just the bridge by 20 Million. There is at least a Million to save trees, a million for parks, a 2.5 million for roads and drainage. Its a lot of stuff. 6.7 million for design, engineering and inspections sounds like a lot to me, but I am hopeful @brentcooke can undercut those costs with his expertise when the bidding period begins. Finally, there is about 7 Million in contingency, so it is quite possible it comes in under budget.

@ggggarret, answers to your questions about why the rush are on pages 16 and 17.

The condition assessment report indicated that the overall bridge was in fair condition; however, the deck (with integral longitudinal joint), floor beams, and spandrel columns had exhibited the most degradation, although all structural components had exhibited degradation.

As a result, any rehabilitation desiring increased service life would need to remove the deck, floor beams, and spandrel columns, essentially stripping the structure down to the arch ribs as a starting point. As indicated in the report, these results, by definition, removed the original Rehabilitation Option 1 (as described in Section 1.2) as a feasible alternative, since the intent of that option was a ʺlow‐impactʺ, “preserve‐structure” rehabilitation option from visual, construction, and cost standpoints. Based on the above, the team focused on Rehabilitation Option 2 and on potential bridge replacement options moving forward.

The only other big takeway, which there wasnt a nice slide for, is that basically they will be the outer part of the bridge first, divert traffic to that area, then demolish the original bridge and build that, and finally move traffic back to the middle. Its a lot of steps I guess, and I have no idea what the other option would have been, but doing it in that order seems funny to me as someone who doesnt actually know how to build a bridge.

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How do you figure they are not overpaying? There is $16 million dollars of fees. For design, engineering and cost contingencies. Looks to me to be a lot of the way designed. There are over 600,000 bridges in the US, Why $7 million dedicated to that and inspection. You could pay 10 people $700,000 each for an entire year to do just that. Look at the other fees. It’s ridiculous. If you look at the numbers you can see the actual bridge is going to cost $14-16 million. It’s all the bs that clouds the picture. As a society we are numb to the Zero’s and getting more numb everyday. Hell there is a $5 million dollar contingency and 4% cost adjustment per year! Make the bidder cover that once they won the contract. Who negotiated this crap?

You should run for office @brentcooke ! Get on top of this BS!

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