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Big R value-engineers better design to connect NJ campus

February 19, 2014

Kean Bridge Main Image CropWebKean University in Union, NJ, needed a combination vehicular/pedestrian stream crossing to join their east and west campuses. In a time crunch for the beginning of the fall semester, they were keen on using a bridge from one of their previously-approved competitors that already had environmental permitting in place for their design. 

Another complication was that the new bridge had to re-use existing abutment and pier structures and Kean was concerned that there was not enough time to review alternatives for compliance.

Big R’s alternate design brought big savings

Not wanting to take no for an answer, after the bid closed we submitted our value-engineered alternative to the low-bid contractor, KM Construction for consideration. KM took our design and numbers forward. When Kean realized how much our engineering ingenuity could save them, they felt they had to study it further. Upon review of the geometry and permitting requirements, Kean approved our design.

How did we do it?

The major cost saving was due to the style of truss we provided. Most vehicular trusses are fabricated with bolted gusset plates and many smaller components. Given the smaller size of this bridge, our traditional tubed H-Section Truss design was suggested – creating significant savings in fabrication and assembly time.

The 225' bridge was built in our Abingdon, VA plant and delivered in three 75' spans. A 4' cantilevered pedestrian walkway completed the picture.

Kean Bridge 3rd ImagewebresizeKean Bridge 2nd Imageweb

A truss-worthy competitor

Our persistence to get our designs and numbers in front of the project team paid off. KM Construction and Kean University were both pleased with the results and the university can use the leftover budget for other purposes.

Related article: 354' bridge joins North Texas stadium with campus and parking » 


Project Name: East Link Bridge Improvements

Location: Union, NJ

Owner: Kean University
Consultant/Engineer: Neglia Engineering Associates
Contractor: KM Construction

Type of Product/Application: H-Section Truss Bridge 
Dimensions: 225' long (3 spans of 75') x 12' wide with 4' wide cantilevered sidewalk, H20 design vehicle

Installation time: Two days to install