Barrier solution for Battle Creek bridge

April 13, 2018
Hill & Smith steel barriers 1

Alkali-silica reaction (ASR), commonly known as “concrete cancer,” is a chemical reaction that can wreak havoc on concrete structures and accelerate deterioration. This corrosive force is quite prevalent in concrete bridge rails and can cause a number of issues, such as negatively affecting the barrier’s crashworthiness. In extreme cases, the crumbling concrete must be protected by a temporary barrier solution.

In Battle Creek, Mich., the concrete parapets on Michigan Rte. 66 over I-94 had suffered from severe ASR deterioration, and in 2017, it was decided that a temporary barrier needed to be placed until the bridge was repaired.

Initially, temporary concrete barrier was going to be used. However, after discovering Zoneguard and learning about its weight, portability and durability advantages, steel barrier was specified and Zoneguard was selected for the project.

Hill & Smith Inc. partnered with Grandville, Mich.-based Give ‘Em a Brake Safety to offer a barrier and attenuator package, and both companies were present during the installation in Battle Creek. Jamie Lemke, president of Give ‘Em a Brake Safety, was in attendance, primarily to witness the installation of Zoneguard. 

Impressed with what he saw, Lemke said, “This was our first experience with temporary steel barrier and Zoneguard. The significant trucking advantage was immediately evident. Further, it was the ease and quickness of the barrier’s installation, including anchoring for limited deflection, that convinced us that Zoneguard is the premier barrier product and perfect for the Michigan market. We’re excited to partner with Hill & Smith to offer Michigan a MASH-tested barrier with many time- and cost-saving benefits.”

The barrier was in place over the winter, protecting Michigan travelers from insufficient and dangerous concrete bridge rails.