Discuss Detroit Archives - Beginning January 2007 Painting of overpasses Previous Next
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Rhymeswithrawk
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Username: Rhymeswithrawk

Post Number: 696
Registered: 11-2005
Posted on Saturday, April 28, 2007 - 6:48 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Goodbye Detroit blue.
I am incredibly bummed that the much-needed work on the overpasses has them painted a bland beige color. I have always loved that sky-blue-esque color that was on all the bridges on the Lodge and other freeways. Don't get me wrong: This work was much-needed and looooooooooong overdue. Anyone else going to miss it? Not to mention it will look weird if some bridges are beige and others are blue.
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Mikeg
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Username: Mikeg

Post Number: 805
Registered: 12-2005
Posted on Saturday, April 28, 2007 - 7:09 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The only reason I glance at the undersides of overpasses is to look for falling chunks of concrete. MDOT should paint them with whatever color costs the least and lasts the longest.
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Rocket_city
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Username: Rocket_city

Post Number: 241
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Saturday, April 28, 2007 - 7:24 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

^ I'd agree with that. I won't miss the blue really, as I like the earth tones a little better. I do like the blue stripes on some of the concrete walls...I think they're on bridges over I-94 on the east side. But yah, I think a consistent color throughout Michigan would me more aesthetically pleasing.
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Lmichigan
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Username: Lmichigan

Post Number: 5438
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Saturday, April 28, 2007 - 7:44 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Wait, is MDOT phasing out all blue-paint, or is it just part of this complex? It's a little thing, but in a way, it's a big thing.
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Jimaz
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Username: Jimaz

Post Number: 2050
Registered: 12-2005
Posted on Saturday, April 28, 2007 - 7:58 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

They should paint them with epoxy to hold the deteriorating concrete together longer.
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Burnsie
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Username: Burnsie

Post Number: 960
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Sunday, April 29, 2007 - 11:56 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Mikeg wrote, "The only reason I glance at the undersides of overpasses..."

Rhymeswithrawk was referring to not just the undersides, but the sides of the girders visible as you approach the bridge.

For apparently ALL bridges, M-DOT is in the process of painting all concrete parts a very light gray. It may well be epoxy-based, as Jimaz suggested. For decades, the only parts of bridges that were painted were the girders, if they were steel. The exceptions of course were the pre-rusted type. If the bridges were all-concrete they weren't painted.

For bridges with concrete girders, along with the gray paint a blue or green stripe is being added to the base of the parapet wall.

IIRC, steel girders are getting repainted both blue and beige, though I haven't paid attention enough to say for sure.
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Detroitnerd
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Username: Detroitnerd

Post Number: 861
Registered: 07-2004
Posted on Sunday, April 29, 2007 - 4:31 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

NO YUGO FEST!
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Charlottepaul
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Username: Charlottepaul

Post Number: 868
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Sunday, April 29, 2007 - 4:37 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

When they redid I-96 from like US 24 to the Davison, some of those bridges got repainted a dark blue color, some were beige and others were still yet different. Seems to me that there wasn't any particular scheme going on there.
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Spiritofdetroit
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Username: Spiritofdetroit

Post Number: 426
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Sunday, April 29, 2007 - 8:14 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I couldn't stand the 1970's looking blue overpasses. I love the new ones that are beige with a different tone of blue as trim
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Mikeydbn
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Username: Mikeydbn

Post Number: 344
Registered: 04-2004
Posted on Monday, April 30, 2007 - 6:13 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

There is no state standard for overpass painting.

The southern portion of the I-69 corridor is proud of its unique color scheme.

http://www.calhouncrc.net/recr oute/overpasstreatments.htm
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Queensfinest
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Username: Queensfinest

Post Number: 91
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Monday, April 30, 2007 - 11:06 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Last time I drove through Detroit I noticed the many random colored overpasses on the I-96. I'd imagine the agency in charge of contracting the painting is probably facing a fiscal crisis to some extent and using whatever paint they can procure for the cheapest price.
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Wally
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Username: Wally

Post Number: 265
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Tuesday, May 01, 2007 - 10:04 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

That blue color they once used looked horrible mixed with the color of the rust that came through. I think the beige is a nicer cleaner look.
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Harsensis
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Username: Harsensis

Post Number: 283
Registered: 07-2005
Posted on Friday, May 04, 2007 - 8:06 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I'm with queens, they most likely use what ever they have on hand, or whatever is cheapest at the time.
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Jerome81
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Username: Jerome81

Post Number: 1405
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Saturday, May 05, 2007 - 1:08 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Why even paint them? In 10 years all the paint is gonna be peeling and the exposed parts rusting.

Why not just not paint them? Then the rust looks good, not like some worn-out rust-belt city.
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Bob
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Username: Bob

Post Number: 1462
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Saturday, May 05, 2007 - 3:06 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

They experimented with rusted steel during the late 70s/early 80s. The Jeffries west of Telegraph used to have this as did I -475 in Flint. They painted over the rusted beams on the Jeffries in the late 90s. Not sure why they stopped, there's probably a reason.
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Bulletmagnet
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Username: Bulletmagnet

Post Number: 413
Registered: 01-2007
Posted on Saturday, May 05, 2007 - 3:12 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Jerome81 I like your crazy thinking. Why bother with it? Or better yet, have the graffiti vandals paint them.
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Focusonthed
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Username: Focusonthed

Post Number: 952
Registered: 02-2006
Posted on Saturday, May 05, 2007 - 5:42 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

What's that special kind of steel that rusts over very quickly and then basically seals the inside and will never rust further? The US Steel building in Pittsburgh and the Daley Center in Chicago are two examples using this method.
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Mikeg
Member
Username: Mikeg

Post Number: 819
Registered: 12-2005
Posted on Saturday, May 05, 2007 - 6:05 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

That type of weathering steel was developed and trademarked by United States Steel as "Cor-Ten".

Many of the overpass bridges along the eastern portion of I-696 were built using Cor-Ten. However, during a previous round of bridge maintenance (about five years ago?), they were all given coats of paint.

So much for all those projected maintenance savings that were going to more than offset the additional purchase cost of that special alloy steel....
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Rod
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Username: Rod

Post Number: 12
Registered: 01-2007
Posted on Monday, May 07, 2007 - 1:36 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I have a great idea for bridges in the Midwest, probably never happen though. They should just make them in modular sections that could be removed and replaced in ONE DAY. Let me explain: They could roll up a crane, lift out like 6 panels, and replace them with "restored" panels. The used ones could just be shipped to a central facility to "restore" them. If every bridge were a modular design (think Lego's), they could be maintained at a lesser cost to everyone. There would be no reason to stop/block traffic for very long like they have on I-75 for the last few years. Make sense?
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Dnvn522
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Username: Dnvn522

Post Number: 235
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Monday, May 07, 2007 - 11:12 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

There are no statewide standards used for the overpass colors. Both the steel and concrete structures are usually matched to the regional or corridor master plan decided on by the MDOT landscape architects. But even that can vary, depending on the structure. Steel beams are usually a light beige or light gray. Concrete beams are usually a light gray or sandstone color with a contrasting colored accent stripe.

The "paint" used on concrete is actually a flexible acrylic coating designed to impede the absorption of water.
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Charlottepaul
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Username: Charlottepaul

Post Number: 982
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Monday, May 07, 2007 - 8:41 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"There are no statewide standards used for the overpass colors."

I might also add that it seems there wouldn't be any standard bridge in the state either. Rod's comment does seem innovative and interesting, but it might require so many different types of modular parts for different types of bridges that it would cease to be really that modular. Think interchanges, tall bridges, concrete versus steel supported, and finally that new one at Beck Road and I-96 that is yet again a different setup.
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Baltgar
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Username: Baltgar

Post Number: 64
Registered: 06-2006
Posted on Monday, May 07, 2007 - 9:21 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Cor-Ten is now a commonly used material on light poles. As stated, it minimizes traditional maintenance such as painting. Plus from a distant they look like they are painted a dark brown. To see an example of these check out the the street lights on Big Beaver median. They are all Cor-Ten.
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Busterwmu
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Username: Busterwmu

Post Number: 385
Registered: 09-2004
Posted on Tuesday, May 08, 2007 - 2:32 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I can't stand the pre-rusted bridges. There's some that I can think of on 94 west of Metro-Airport and around Ann Arbor, and also on 696. They're just so ugly.

It is interesting to note that some of the older bridges that had light blue paint actually started off a very dark blue. A great example of this is the Fisher Freeway Rouge Skyway. When it was completed in '67 the girders were painted a deep deep navy blue. Within a few years, it began to fade, and within a decade it was the light sky blue which it remained until repainted over the past two years. I think it's gray now.

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