Driving on a metal grate

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May 6, 2005
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I don't mean a little one, but a good 1/4 mile driving only on a metal grate across a drawbridge. Now that was some massive tramlining. Anyone here deal with that? I don't drive on this bridge every day, but did yesterday. It like my car was dancing side to side and I could hear the sound of my tires jumping from edge to edge. Makes me wonder if there might not be a better design for something like this, or why they didn't just pave the thing.
 

JHZR2

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Ive noticed that with some cars and some tires. You learn to adapt to it and drive at a speed that ensures you are under control and comfortable. Not much else to it. Stopping is likely compromised...
 
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Yea I've dealt with it and never considered it a problem because it was a bridge and only a short distance. You said it was a drawbridge, so I'm sure that is a big reason why it was grated and not paved. Much harder to lift a concrete slab.
 
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I would think steel would have a better strength to weight ratio than concrete. I have never heard of long steel grate drawbridges doing any harm to a car. Furthermore, it makes a cool sound.
 
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What's really cool is that if you ever run a road race like the Eastern States 20 miler, you go over a bunch of metal bridges and if you look at your feet, you can see the water below you and some of those bridges are high so you see the waves way way below you.
 
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It's fun to ride under the bridge in a boat too! Neat sounds and views! Think of the minimum surface area you are riding on, when going over. But it is balanced by the gripping of the tire around the metal.
 
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Originally Posted By: Corvette Owner
It's fun to ride under the bridge in a boat too! Neat sounds and views! Think of the minimum surface area you are riding on, when going over. But it is balanced by the gripping of the tire around the metal.
Unless you happen to be under it when the DMB Tour Bus goes over the bridge... grin http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/4335667.stm
 
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I hate those bridges! Especially walking on them. They grate the concrete highways around here sometimes to help with ice I guess. It really tramrails everything! The Continental Conti Pro Eco Conti Pro Conti Contact with Conti Plus Conti technology tires on my parents' Escape tramrail horribly.
 
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Our oldest bridge has it. I can say its the bridge that has required the least maintenance and we have one that is 50 years newer that is falling apart. Difference between all metal design vs one with concrete/ashphalt. I like the bridge but try it in winter time!!!
 
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^We have one here that actually gets closed when it gets icy (Roebling Suspension Bridge)-being ancient, it actually crowns in the middle & slopes downhill on both sides-I try to avoid it in winter, even in rain.
 
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Our mighty Mac bridge has several thousand feet of grates 200 ft. above the water. It's pretty cool walking across it. About 25 years ago a YUGO was blown over the rails: " Later investigation showed the driver had stopped her car over the open steel grating on the bridge's span and that a gust of wind through the grating blew her vehicle off the bridge," (with her in it, RIP)
 
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Originally Posted By: 02SE
Originally Posted By: ffhdriver
A wet metal grate is even more exciting!
Especially on a Motorcycle.
Until it was replaced I drove over a grate after than every day in a car and often on my BMW bike. From time to time a gaggle of Howleys would follow me over on the bike and having learned how to handle the grate (as little steering input as possible) it was fun to the watch the ruff & tuffs put their feet down as soon as they hit it. The better the car tire in terms of slip angle the worse it was on the grate as the front end would follow the waves in the grating like railroad tracks. The trick is in knowing not to get into an excessive countersteer mode because and just let the machine follow the little waves.
 
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They put steel grating on suspension bridges to eliminate the possibility of aerodynamic lift when wind blows across the roadway. That's what caused the Tacoma Narrows bridge to collapse in 1940.
 
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Originally Posted By: ffhdriver
A wet metal grate is even more exciting!
Probably one of the reasons the full length metal grate bridge between Lambertville, N.J. and New Hope, Pa. has an (enforced) speed limit of 15 mph!! wink
 
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No big deal in a car or truck...but scary on a motorcycle. I went over one today, actually...Meridian Street, connecting Chelsea and Boston over the Chelsea River.
 
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I did it all the time in the 1980's across the Tule Lake Lift Bridge in Corpus Christi working my way through college. It also had a low speed limit but it was rare we ever had to worry about ice. The railroad bridge was also part of this lift bridge. They demo'ed it in April 2008 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P5KimtGjQJs There are no plans to build another bridge there. A new road was installed for access to the north bank a ways west of the bridge. I do kinda miss it though. It was a simpler time in my life when I crossed it regularly.
 

y_p_w

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The one I was referring to was the Park Street Bridge between Oakland, California and Alameda. It seemed kind of long, but apparently only about 350+ feet across the Oakland Estuary. Actually - there are two bridges of a similar design. We got into Alameda via the High Street Bridge.
 
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