An 80-year-old, structurally deficient two-span bridge located on Knowlesville Road between Ridge Road (State Route 104) and Oak Orchard River Road was in dire need of replacement. Located in a scenic area, the nearby stream is a popular recreational destination. Removal of the existing structure and installation of the new structure needed to minimize the effects on recreational activities and environmental disturbances within the culturally sensitive setting.
“The existing structurally deficient bridge was rated poorly on over 70% of its ratings and had received two safety flags,” stated Chris Sichak, Project Manager at Clark Patterson Lee. “A recurring hole in the bridge deck had been patched temporarily with a steel plate to prevent injury to users.”
A 36-ft. x 21.8-ft. x 77-ft. BEBO® Concrete Arch system, complete with precast headwalls and wingwalls and 18 twin leaf arch units, was chosen over a traditional bridge for its low maintenance and cost effectiveness throughout the life cycle of the structure. In addition, the entire structure was installed in approximately 48 hours, allowing contract work to be completed in only 60 working days in accordance with a stream restriction.
It was necessary for the new structure to maintain the same horizontal and vertical alignments on the highway. Additional work on the project included right-of-way acquisition, approach highway reconstruction, stone fill placement and guide-rail installation.
Even though challenges such as a stream restriction date during the prime construction season, a delay in letting due to state budgetary challenges, the proximity of an intersecting roadway just north of the bridge, unforeseen site conditions including a rock outcrop within the limits of the MSE system behind the north wingwalls and inclement weather conditions, the project was still completed on time and within the budgetary constraints.
“Orleans County is extremely satisfied to replace this bridge with an aesthetically pleasing structure that will require limited maintenance in a time when resources are limited,” noted Gerald Gray, Orleans County Highway Superintendent. “This bridge will continue to serve the needs of the county into the future.”