Near East Greenwich, the 57-year-old highway bridge was in need of replacement. This project was funded through the “Highways for Life” program by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), which advances highway infrastructure service life through use of innovation to meet Accelerated Bridge Construction (ABC) goals when building safe roads and bridges. For the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT), the Frenchtown Brook Bridge project was allotted just 65 days for the entire demolition through project completion.
Minimizing traffic disruption was critical to the success of this project. RIDOT wanted a low maintenance, economical and durable concrete bridge that would utilize precast elements and be installed in days rather than months.
Gordon Archibald and Aetna Bridge Company, the project’s engineer and contractor, worked with Contech Engineered Solutions in order to determine the best, ABC solution for this project to directly align with the FHWA innovation goals. Contech’s precast CON/SPAN B-Series Bridge System with EXPRESS Foundations, offered the most advantages, including the speed of precast, the strength of arch action, low maintenance and economic efficiency. Further, the arch shape improved aesthetics.
In all, 25 CON/SPAN arches, headwalls and precast wingwalls were installed and placed on 16 EXPRESS Foundations that were integrated together to provide continuity throughout the structure length.
EXPRESS Foundations lived up to its name. The contractor completed all project phases, from demolition to installation of the new structure and roadway reopening, in 33 days — just half of the allotted project time!
With the speed of installation on this project and completion one month early, the contractor was even awarded $90,000, the maximum possible amount from RIDOT’s $3,000-per-day incentive clause in the contract.
The Frenchtown Brook Bridge replacement project was one of the first of its kind in Rhode Island, since this project received nearly one-third of the contract costs from federal accelerated construction funding through the “Highways for LIFE” program.