When a replacement was needed for the U.S. 61 Bridge over Buckeye Creek, in Cape Girardeau County, Big R Bridge guaranteed to deliver a customized solution in only 30 days. After looking over several proposals, the ‘Design-Build’ engineers chose our team to complete the job; and, true to our word, our bridge arrived right on time.
Super•Cor double arch ensures safe passage
For this project, we designed and manufactured our Super•Cor double arch and precast panel walls modularly, and then shipped them to the jobsite for assembly. Having the structure built offsite allowed for a true accelerated bridge construction. In May of 2010, representatives from The Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT), KTU Constructors, and Big R Bridge celebrated the opening of the new bridge.
This job had many unique factors; but, most notably, it was a much-needed success story for the statewide ‘Safe & Sound Bridge Improvement Program’, which was sadly born of tragic circumstances.
Bridge collapse tragedy inspires ‘Safe & Sound’ program
When back in August 2007, Minneapolis’ I-35 Bridge collapsed – killing 13 people and injuring 145 others – government leaders were forced to sit up and listen. The nation’s aging roadways had been long overlooked. A congressional study revealed what many Americans feared: More than 75,000 bridges were classified as structurally deficient. Shocked by the results, angry media filled the airways and officials scrambled to put plans into action.
The MoDOT created the ‘Safe & Sound’ program to evaluate and prioritize bridge projects. While all of Missouri’s bridges were in safe condition, the ‘Safe & Sound’ program designed a two-phase plan to improve 802 of the state’s lowest-rated bridges by 2014. With so many scheduled repairs, the MoDOT had considerable budgetary and timeline concerns, so they instigated a ‘Design-Build’ program and contracted KTU Constructors to oversee it. ‘Design-build’ projects include both the design and construction phases, and the Big R team was excited to participate. We were confident that our Super•Cor structural plate was the right product for the job.
Our Design-Build process saves time and money
The structural plate bridge accomplished several key items that the Safe & Sound Program was trying to achieve. Most importantly, the accelerated design schedule saved valuable time. By having the structure built offsite in a controlled manufacturing environment, minimal time was required onsite for actual construction and inspection of the bridge.
Secondly, the plate structure minimized the impact on the existing roadway. Design proposals from other competitors had required a span of approximately 80 feet – with significant pavement removal required at each end – adding an additional 50 feet of roadway needing to be repaved. Using Big R Vist-A-Wall MSE Structural Wall Systems saved that asphalt.
As an added benefit, the double arch bridge design more efficiently meets the requirements of Buckeye Creek for controlling water flow than the original bridge concepts.