The construction of regional State Highway 129, a limited access highway to connect Interstate 75 and the City of Hamilton, Ohio, needed to cross the environmentally sensitive waterway of Mill Creek Butler County, Ohio. This proved to be daunting task, especially for the engineers, contractors and construction material suppliers.
Contech Engineered Solutions was called in to provide engineering support to help resolve a number of these issues and provide products to meet the environmental and economic challenges. The Ohio Department of Transportation and Butler County TID chose a SUPER-SPAN, high-profile arch for this large underpass crossing. The structure needed to follow a serpentine alignment conforming to the existing footprint of the creek to allow safe passage for deer and other wildlife under a busy highway.
The watershed above the location consists of 614 hectares of rolling hills in residential areas and open fields that drain into the stream. Site conditions resulted in the engineering challenge of constructing a buried structure that met the scour hydraulic and hydrologic characteristics of the creek.
The SUPER-SPAN structure, a corrugated steel structural plate steel engineered to combine the strength of steel and soil interaction to carry applied loads, allowed for optimum clear space inside the structure and eliminated the costly pile supports that were required by the original concrete structure, resulting in tremendous cost savings.
Thirteen prefabricated horizontal elbow segments were necessary to conform to the serpentine creek alignment along the 350-foot SUPER-SPAN structure. The SUPER-SPAN erection process, which included the assembly and bolting of corrugated steel plates into the arch shape, required access to both the inside and the outside of the metal structure. Due to site restriction that prevented access to the interior of the structure from the ground, assembly was accomplished with the use of long-boom, personnel cranes working outside the walls on both sides of the creek. This allowed the construction personnel to safely erect the SUPER-SPAN without entering the creek area.
“We broke revolutionary new ground for a government project with the joint design team concept, concurrent reviews and the external construction management resources, all of which enables a major project like this to be completed in record time,” said Greg Wilkens, Butler County Engineer. “To accomplish the purpose of merging environmental and transportation concerns together was unto itself a huge success.”
The necessary link to I-75 is predicted to spur an economic boom. The project as a whole met the transportation needs of people in the area while adhering to environmental guidelines and alleviating wildlife concerns.