Rapid Construction Techniques Transform Infrastructure Repair

Discussion in 'Transportation and Infrastructure' started by M II A II R II K, Apr 19, 2012.

  1. M II A II R II K

    M II A II R II K Senior Member

    Apr 24, 2007
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    Did Someone Order an Instant Bridge?

    April 17, 2012


    Read More: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/18/u...air.html?_r=2&pagewanted=1&ref=general&src=me

    Timelapse Video: http://nyti.ms/IVumhu


    By using “accelerated bridge construction†techniques, a collection of technologies and methods that can shave months if not years off the process of building and replacing critical infrastructure, Massachusetts is at the forefront of a national effort that is aimed at putting drivers first.

    - “This will be the new normal,†said Victor M. Mendez, the head of the Federal Highway Administration. Quick replacement of bridges, however, is anything but intuitive, he said. “If you haven’t seen it, it seems kind of odd that you’ll pick up a bridge and slide it into place,†he said. As the sun climbed into the sky on Sunday, the new River Street Bridge, 400 tons of steel and concrete, rode on a set of trailers and high supports that adjust to keep the span as level as a tray of drinks balanced on a waiter’s hand. Jaiden Rivera, 7, watched the operation from the other side of a chain-link fence with his grandfather, Eddie Anderson. Mr. Anderson invited his five grandchildren to sleep over so they could be there to watch a bridge moved and slipped onto its abutments like the world’s biggest Lego block.

    - Get a bridge replaced in days, not years, and “there’s ‘wow,’ †said Theodore Zoli, national bridge chief engineer for HNTB Corporation, who has received a MacArthur “genius†grant for his innovative work on bridge construction. Nowhere have the various techniques for speeding bridge work been more enthusiastically embraced than in Massachusetts, which replaced 14 bridges on Interstate 93 last year over 10 weekends. But similar techniques are being used around the country, from Mesquite, Nev., to the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, which is getting 300 feet of new roadway one 25-foot prefabricated section at a time, 78 pieces in all. “We have a bridge that we simply cannot close to traffic,†said Ewa Bauer, chief engineer for the Golden Gate Bridge Highway and Transportation District.

    - Prefabrication techniques allow Ms. Bauer’s crews to close individual lanes instead of shutting down the bridge. Since February, they have torn out and installed one length of deck each night, and they have already completed a third of the task, she said. None of the techniques is quite as eye-popping as “heavy lift†— when a hunk of bridge is simply picked up and put into place. Time and the elements had not been kind to the steel and concrete of the old River Street Bridge, which stretches over railroad tracks used by freight and commuter trains. The bridge also needed raising — an additional 18 inches would allow double-decker commuter trains to pass underneath. So the Massachusetts Department of Transportation got to work.


  2. BurlOak

    BurlOak Senior Member

    Dec 7, 2011
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    MTO has done something similar to this 4 times to date:

    - Island Park Drive, 417 in Ottawa, 2007
    - Clyde Avenue, 417 in Ottawa, 2008
    - Aberdeen Bridge, 403 in Hamilton, 2010
    - Carling Avenue, 417 in Ottawa, 2011


    In Ontario’s case, they built the new bridge in a staging area beside the highway near the existing bridge. Then in a weekend closure, they used heavy lift vehicles to removed the old bridge and install the new one. These required the bridge spans to stay the same and the existing abutments and piers had to be in good enough condition to be re-used. If the cost of disruption to traffic is considered, it would be less expensive, but in terms of actual contract price, this method is more expensive.
  3. gweed123

    gweed123 Moderator Staff Member

    Feb 10, 2009
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    I remember watching the live cams of this for a bit, as well as the time-lapse video at the end of it. It's a pretty amazing engineering feat. Here's an unofficial time-lapse video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L0V-KQCM7ck

    I think that MTO may actually have at least one more bridge to do on that section of the 417 in Ottawa. Carling Ave Eastbound (they did Westbound in 2011), and Kirkwood. The Clyde and Carling bridges were both done so that the Queensway can be widened from 3 lanes to 4 through to Pinecrest. Carling Ave is currently a pretty big choke point on the 417, because it goes from 4 lanes to 3.

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