Altoona Mirror, February 26, 2001 : Front Page

Publication: Altoona Mirror February 26, 2001

Altoona Mirror (Newspaper) - February 26, 2001, Altoona, Pennsylvania Sports Dale Earnhardt remembered at Rockingham    Life:    Setting    goals    teaches    kids    character    building    DIAltoona Mirror © Copyright 2001 INSIDE TMW COVER STORY: What etiquette is and how it says a lot about who you are. PSU fair prompts push for controls HARRISBURG (AP) — When Penn State University President Graham Spanier makes his annual trek to Harrisburg this week to ask House members for more money to run the state’s largest university, he likely will be talking about something else: students and sex. During Spanier’s presentation to the Appropriations Committee Tuesday, seeking $111 million more than the $250 million Gov. Tom Ridge has proposed, state Rep. John Lawless, R-Montgomery, plans to show a 5-minute videotape featuring Penn State coeds talking about sex. Lawless has been campaigning for Penn State to stop allowing students to run events such as the Feb. 3 Sex Faire. The event presented information about homosexuality, reproductive health and safe sex in a manner that Lawless called pornographic. “I want their appropriation suspended until they demonstrate to the Legislature that there are some community standards being met that will prohibit this kind of activity,” Lawless said. Penn State, which has an enrollment of 81,270 students, receives about one-third of its budget from the state, and university officials expect most legislators to oppose Lawless’ demand for an interruption of state funding. “I can’t imagine anyone taking that suggestion seriously,” university spokesman Stephen Mac-Carthy said. In November, Lawless demanded “immediate action” against Penn State over a festival with a name that included a vulgar four-letter reference to female anatomy. It featured self-defense workshops, a lesbian performance artist and a singer-songwriter. Please see Fair/Page A7 MOVING UP In order to provide our readers with more coverage of national and international news, we have moved our weather package from the C section to Page A2. Beginning in today’s Mirror, you’ll find your weather forecasts on Page A2 each day. Coming soon: Daily pollen counts. DELIVERY Subscription or home delivery questions: 946-7480 or (800) 287-4480 ?> 22910 0005^MONDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 2001 504 newsstand BAD BRIDGES In 1967, a fractured beam caused the Silver Bridge over the Ohio River to collapse, killing 46 people. That tragedy ushered in a federal bridge inspection program. Spans under scrutiny Of the 587,755 bridges inspected as of Aug. 31, 2000, 29 percent were deemed “deficient” by the government. A structure - whether covered bridge or massive suspension span - is rated based on the findings of inspectors, who look for general deterioration and design elements that may not be able to handle increases in traffic. Signs of a dated design Increases in traffic may have outpaced the load that the bridge was designed to carry. The vertical clearance of older bridges may be less than today’s standard 16 feet, 6 inches. Today, railings are crash-tested, but older railings could give way to a crashing car. Approaching roadway may be too sharply curved, or widened too much sr to accommodate increased traffic flow. Inspectors use “snooper" trucks to visually check less accessible parts of the structure for general deterioration, such as rust buildup. Dragging a heavy chain across the road surface, inspectors listen for a hollow sound that indicates delamination, Some crews now use thermography devices that detect heat differences. Like a wire that breaks when repeatedly bent back and forth, beams and reinforcements can weaken under repetitive stress. Inspectors look for signs of fatigue, such as hairline cracks. On suspension bridges, cable tension is a good indicator of the forces acting on a bridge or whether its position has shifted. Divers may be used to check for underwater corrosion and scouring -erosion of the riverbed around concrete piers. Judging a bridge’s health Deterioration in the structure could show up as hairline cracks, or spalling, when concrete crumbles away from its interior steel reinforcement. SOURCES: Federal Highway Administration; Dave Pope, Wyoming Department of Transportation; Stan Woods, Wisconsin DOT; James O'Connell, New York State DOT J. Jurgensen; J Gilbert/AP Feds say more than 25 percent of nation’s spans are substandard By Jonathan D. Salant The Associated Press WASHINGTON — More than a quarter of the nation’s bridges are too weak, dilapidated or overburdened for their current traffic, according to federal records that detail an American road system that hasn’t kept pace with a booming economy. Dramatic stories of spans with falling concrete or weak supports abound across the country, even though the government has spent billions on repairs over the last few years, an Associated Press computer analysis of the records found. School buses in Washington County in southwestern Alabama seeking to lower their weight used to have to stop at one end of a decaying bridge, let children off to walk across the span and pick them up on the other side. Now, the buses drive 15 extra miles per day to avoid the bridge altogether. “We said many times we ought to be ashamed of ourselves for letting that happen,” said Sonny Brasfield, assistant executive director of the Association of County Commissions of Alabama. In Louisiana, a bridge over Thompsons Creek was hastily put back in place, not rebuilt, after floodwater washed it away. To compensate, officials put new limits on the weight of trucks crossing the span. “It would not make any structural engineer comfortable to look at the thing,” state engineer Gill Gautreau said. And in Denver, softball-sized chunks of concrete routinely break off the Interstate 70 viaduct near the city’s coliseum. “It’s just falling apart,” firefighter John Afshar said. “They clean up the mess pretty quickly.” The AP computer analysis of Federal Highway Administration records found 167,993 of 587,755 bridges — or 29 percent — were rated by the government as “deficient” as of Aug. 31. That’s a slight improvement from four years earlier when 31 percent of bridges were deemed deficient. “Deficient” is defined as structures that either require repairs or are too narrow or weak to handle the traffic that must use the bridges to go from place to place. “There has been some improvement, but the numbers are quite high. There’s certainly a long way to go,” said Frank Moretti, research director for The Road Information Program, a transportation group funded by construction and manufacturing companies. Three states — Hawaii, Rhode Island and Massachusetts — report that more than half of their bridges are rated as deficient. Please see Bridges/Page A8 Gallitzin will pay $90,000 toward cost of $1.8M Jackson Steet bridge replacement Mirror photo by J.D. Cavrich Gallitzin and PennDOT are replacing the Jackson Street bridge near the borough building. By Linda Hudkins For the Mirror GALLITZIN - The bridge that carries Jackson Street traffic over double-stacked rail cars soon will be replaced — at a cost of $1.8 million — after years of setbacks. And even though each delay came with a corresponding cost increase, borough officials entered into a bit of creative financing to protect taxpayers’ wallets. Several years ago, a harvest of trees from borough-owned property brought some extra cash into municipal coffers, borough secretary Irene Szynal said. “We invested the money, and that should cover it,” she said of the $90,000, or 5 percent, that the borough must contribute toward the total project cost. “There’s no way in the world that we could have taken it out of the general fund,” she said. Funding for the project also includes $1,441,600, or 80 percent, from federal sources and $264,750, or 15 percent, from the state, said Dave Wolfhope, project manager for PennDOT. A construction cost of $1,335,966 will be paid to Charles J. Merlo Construction of Mineral Point, Wolfhope said. The balance will pay for design engineering, utility replacement, inspection, railroad and right of way costs. Please see Gallltzin/Page A8 Logan Township will rename some streets, roads in March By Ray Stephens Staff Writer Logan Township Supervisor Frank Meloy has changed addresses four times and never moved once. But recognizing the benefits of unique addresses, Meloy and fellow supervisors Diane Meling and James Patterson agreed to rename some township streets and roads, especially in Lakemont. Meling, who has been attending meetings with representatives from Altoona, the post office and the Blair County 911 Center, recommended during Thursday’s township supervisors’ meeting that the township get started on renaming its streets in March. The effort is meant to help the 911 center, which dispatches emergency crews, as well as township residents who complain about mixed-up mail and package delivery. Meling proposed holding a public meeting to give residents a chance to offer suggestions for new street names. But instead of that, Meloy and Patterson said they would prefer to give people an opportunity to offer suggestions, then schedule a public hearing to take comments before adopting an ordinance changing streets and road names. Meloy said that when the post office imposed address changes for his residence, he had no say in the matter. Please see Rename/Page A3 Mirror photo by J.D. Cavrich Logan Township hopes to rename some streets such as Ninth Street in Lakemont to avoid confusion. Altoona also has a Ninth Street. BIO FOUR 6 6 2 6 I Lottery numbers, A2 WEATHER Is Sunny and breezy, 43° ■ Forest, A2 Altoona mirror IHE’great combination Call us today...Make money today. Ask for TUE GREAT COMI RINA I ION of MIRROR CLASSIFIEDS and I IOT-ADS Phone (814) 946-7422  or fax us at (814) 946-7JS47_ □ local Q NATION Business A5 Classifieds C2-8 Hospitals A7 Obituaries A7 Opinion A6 0] life □ SPORTS Scoreboard B5 Comics D5 Community news D2 Puzzles D4 Movies ¥ Television D4 INSIDE ;

  • Charles J. Merlo
  • Dale Earnhardt
  • Dave Pope
  • Dave Wolfhope
  • Diane Meling
  • Frank Moretti
  • Gill Gautreau
  • Graham Spanier
  • Irene Szynal
  • James Patterson
  • John Afshar
  • John Lawless
  • Linda Hudkins
  • Sonny Brasfield
  • Stan Woods
  • Tom Ridge

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Publication: Altoona Mirror

Location: Altoona, Pennsylvania

Issue Date: February 26, 2001

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