, the state's head bridge maintenance engineer, said there are no fundamental structural problems with the computer-operated drawbridge.Its malfunctions have been caused by a series of little things : faulty wiring and switches, and even a type of lubricating grease that has worked poorly in cold weather.Barnard
has acknowledged that those little problems have a large impact when they delay traffic and ships in Portland Harbor.it be still running at a 98 percent success rate, but you have to run pretty darn close to 100 percent on this or it be unacceptable..
Some bridge users put it more bluntly.
said transportation officials are aware of the public's concerns and are determined to solve problems.He
said Melrose has asked to be called every time the bridge gets stuck.The commissioner does not like to read in the newspaper something about the Portland bridge that we do not tell him..
Melrose on Friday referred comments to Barnard
said Friday that the bridge had opened and closed 841 times since it opened on Aug. 31, 1997.There have been 20 unexpected delays, lasting from five minutes to three days.
The worst problems have been in the winter.Grease used on the bridge's huge gears becomes brittle and flaky in cold weather.And in frigid temperatures, some switches have stuck because pins that pop out as a safety measure have not retracted when they were supposed to.There are about 40 such switches on the bridge.
said it is hiring consultants to do a thorough inspection of the electrical and mechanical systems and recommend changes."It may be as simple as, instead of using a $ 100 switch, use a $ 400 switch..
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