A bridge is more than just a connection between two places. It’s a work of art and a piece of history made to stand the test of time. RTA owns 93 bridges including the Cuyahoga Viaduct, Abbey Ave., and an assortment of railroad and roadway bridges throughout Cuyahoga County. With a small team of RTA engineers led by James Stock, P.E., traveling around greater Cleveland is much safer.
James came to RTA after many years as an engineering consultant. Bringing his expertise and his strong focus on bridge engineering, he was at the forefront of the management process. RTA has been lucky enough to have him as part of the family for the past 5 years, but maintaining 93 bridges is no small feat. His team has been successful in assessing every bridge for damage or cracks, supervising repairs and using their expert opinions to save money on the maintenance of these massive structures. For instance, to complete repairs on a bridge over Lorain Avenue, James and engineering firm Michael Baker International were able to look at the structure, evaluate the problem, and determine a solution before deciding if a total bridge replacement was needed. Rather than replace the entire structure, major stress points were retrofitted to prevent any further structural damage at a much lower price than complete replacement.
“The older bridges are better” they are pieces of this city’s history and they would cost a lot to replace them. So James’ focus is to promote the service life of the bridges and minimize the service interruptions to both RTA passengers and commuters.
With so much room for innovation at RTA, James, with the help of colleagues from the engineering firm HDR, the University of Missouri and Purdue University, is implementing a more cost effective and focused method of inspecting bridges. This method could very well go on to be used nationwide, or potentially worldwide.
We thank James for his creativity, knowledge and research that he has brought to RTA and look forward to what’s next.