Temporary barrier helps accelerated bridge construction on West Virginia Turnpike

July 12, 2018

The West Virginia Turnpike, an 88-mile four-lane toll road including stretches of I-77 and I-64, is a winding and elevated highway through mountainous terrain. There are 116 bridges on the Turnpike, and prior to 2016, the average bridge age was 32 years old. In 2016, the Turnpike commenced a multiyear bridge replacement program with an emphasis on minimizing mobility impacts. Accelerated Bridge Construction (ABC) techniques were employed to replace existing bridge decks. ABC projects use innovative planning, design, materials and construction methods to significantly reduce on-site construction time.

In 2016, the Turnpike embarked on its first ABC deck replacement project on I-77 northbound in Ghent, W.Va. The awarded contractor was Orders Construction Co. of St. Albans, W.Va. Orders was challenged with completing the full replacement in less than two weeks, whereas traditional construction methods would have taken months.

To complete the project in the specified time frame, Orders explored using devices and methods that would help expedite construction. One of the solutions they identified was using the Zoneguard steel barrier system as their temporary barrier on the project. Zoneguard, a MASH TL-3 eligible barrier system manufactured by Hill & Smith Inc., weighs only 62 lb/ft and has several advantages over traditional barriers.

Aaron Settle, project manager at Orders Construction, selected Zoneguard for this project due to several time-saving benefits that would help ensure they met their schedule. The ability to haul 750 linear ft on a truck reduced the number of delivery trucks required. Being able to pick and set 50 ft at a time (standard length of Zoneguard) allowed for fewer placements. Additionally, the fact that Zoneguard only required two anchors every 33 ft 4 in. cut down the installation time significantly.

Orders Construction completed the ABC deck replacement with time to spare and subsequently utilized Zoneguard on another similar project shortly thereafter.


Photos courtesy of HNTB West Virginia

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