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1M-Pound Bridge Slides in Place

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

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Crews in Michigan took advantage of the slide-in bridge construction (SIBC) technique to build a new bridge on the M-100 in Potterville with only one weekend’s worth of road closure.

It took about nine hours for the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), along with project contractor Davis Construction, to successfully slide the 1-million-pound structure into place.

It took about nine hours for MDOT and project contractor Davis Construction to successfully slide the 1-million-pound structure 77 feet into place.

Cameras on site distilled the overnight procedure down into 1-minute 41-second time-lapse video.

Slide-in Construction

SIBC is one several Accelerated Bridge Construction (ABC) methods promoted by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to quickly and efficiently build or replace an existing bridge.

It can take advantage of prefabricated bridge elements and systems (PEBS, another ABC technology) built offsite or alongside the existing structure.

When implementing SIBC, a new bridge is built on temporary supports parallel to an existing bridge, allowing traffic to continue uninterrupted on the original structure. After construction is complete, the road only needs to be closed temporarily while the existing bridge is demolished or slid out of the way.

The new bridge is positioned and slid into place, tied in to the approaches and paved within 48 to 72 hours, according to the FHWA.

Photos: MichiganDOT

When implementing the slide-in bridge construction technique, a new bridge is built on temporary supports parallel to an existing bridge and then slid into place.

This process can also be adapted to suit similar needs, such as to slide an existing bridge to a spot alongside the its original location, where it can serve as a temporary detour bridge while the new structure is constructed on the original path. It can also be implemented while widening an existing bridge, the FHWA says.

ABC techniques like this are said to have the potential to increase safety for workers and drivers alike, as it reduces the need for lane restrictions, detours and road closures and allows for the construction work zones to be sited away from active traffic.

Other benefits, FHWA says, include reduced construction costs, less on-site construction time, lower environmental impacts, improved quality and increased constructability.

The M-100 Slide

For the Michigan span carrying the highway over the Canadian National Railroad, the process got underway around 11 p.m. on a Friday night (Nov. 13), according to the Lansing State Journal, and continued through the early morning hours.

Two pushing cylinders were used to laterally move the 1-million pound- structure 77 feet, MDOT said in its statement. It took 18 tons of force and about nine hours to move the new bridge into place.

MDOT added that this was the first superstructure lateral slide in Michigan to use high-capacity steel rollers to perform the move.


ABC techniques are said to increase safety, as it reduces the need for lane restrictions, detours and road closures and allows for the construction work zones to be sited away from active traffic.

Crews then worked on the approaches, pouring the concrete bridge entrances and allowing them to set. The M-100 reopened to traffic by 6 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 15, earlier than expected, MDOT said.

"We are very happy with the success," Kari Arend, an MDOT spokesperson, told the paper. "Everything went really smoothly."

"It took until daybreak to actually slide it, because what you have to do is lift it up, slide it over and then lower it down," she added.

The M-100 carries about 5,400 vehicles each day, according to the Journal. The new bridge is slightly wider than the original and includes a pedestrian walkway.

This is the fourth bridge to be constructed using SIBC in Michigan. The bridge replacement was one of three projects in a larger $8.6 million development plan along the M-100.


Tagged categories: Accelerated Bridge Construction (ABC); Asia Pacific; Bridges; Construction; EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa); Latin America; North America; Program/Project Management; Roads/Highways; Slide-in bridge construction (SIBC)

Comment from Car F., (11/24/2015, 10:57 AM)

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