Reconstructing the I-65/I70 North Split Interchange, Indianapolis, Indiana

June 15, 2023
PERI USA provided for all bridge types in the project scope for the I-65/I-70 North Split Interchange, with rentable, customizable solutions for bridge piers and pier caps.

Upgrades Driving Progress

The North Split Reconstruction Project upgrades the interchange of I-65 and I-70 in downtown Indianapolis, the second-most heavily traveled interchange in Indiana. The project includes a new interchange, 60 bridges, miles of new pavement, and improvements on ramps across six focus areas to improve traffic flow through downtown Indianapolis. 

PERI USA provided fully rentable and customized formwork solutions for concrete construction on multiple bridges. This enabled crews to complete their work efficiently and safely.

Bridge 34: The Hammerhead Challenge

The pier supports for the largest overpass for the interchange of I-65 South transitioning into I-70 East are designed as 12-feet-tall by 62-feet-long hammerhead caps supported by architectural columns. Traditionally, pier caps for a hammerhead design are 5 to 8 feet tall, so the substantially larger caps presented additional safety concerns for crews.

Crews used PERI VARIOKIT Pier System (VPS) to form the hammerhead pier caps with large cantilevers. To reduce the high cantilever load during construction, diagonal struts added support to the end of the pier caps and transferred load to the footing.

The I-65 Interchange project was the first project in the United States to use products from the VPS toolbox.

VPS changes the way bridges are built with increased safety and efficiency in an innovative, customizable solution. The system kit includes lateral fall protection, a platform deck, guardrail posts, formwork panels, side form stops, speed beams, IPE 600 VARIOKIT beams, platform brackets, guard rail post holders, bracing, and a jack. PERI VPS shortens the cycle time and uses two sets of soffit with one side formwork, saving time and money with less equipment and less crew needed. VPS delivers a large dancefloor working space, easy rebar works, and crane-independent striking.

The columns were a geometrically complex shape to form. Each had tapering ends and architectural voids in the columns, which presented several challenges. Column jacks supporting the dancefloor could not be placed at the tapered ends of the column, thereby increasing the cantilevered load.

An integral component of the VPS system, IPE Beams provided additional support for the cantilever load during construction. IPE Beams are rentable, modular, structural beams that can be combined and extended to match project needs. PERI offers the unique option for contractors to have a rentable solution rather than make their existing inventory fit project conditions.

Utilizing MAXIMO wall formwork as a single solution for column forms and cap forms increased productivity by limiting the number of formwork systems and types in use. MAXIMO can reduce formwork operation time with innovative, one-sided tie technology and centrally arranged tie points, saving up to 50 percent working time compared to conventional panel formwork.

Bridge 17: The Straddle Cap Solution

Once construction was in progress and PERI solutions were delivering efficiency to crews on site, the team looked to PERI USA to provide support for an additional bridge of the project, a straddle cap bridge. Once PERI was awarded the work, it delivered formwork to this bridge site within three weeks to maintain forward progression.

With the concrete columns already in place, the team needed shoring to support the cap and twelve 185-foot, precast bridge beams weighing 300,000 pounds each. VARIOKIT VST towers and girders supported the total load of 4 million pounds.

VARIOKIT offers standardized components for a wide range of civil engineering applications. This includes versatile core and supplemental components that can be combined to meet project requirements. With fitting pin connections and spindles for simple adaption, VARIOKIT minimizes assembly time and delivers a cost-effective and rentable solution. VST Heavy Duty Tower and Truss Girder secures access to all working areas and surfaces where high loads are transferred, thereby optimizing the construction process. 

Foundation work for the straddle cap bridge began in January 2022, and project leaders used PERI formwork and shoring for development of the columns, pier caps, and girder shoring.

Multi-Column Bridge Solutions

PERI USA also supplied formwork for several multi-column bridges on the project in two different configurations. For the larger configuration, crews utilized the MAXIMO and VPS systems. MAXIMO wall formwork enabled crews to form the geometrically complex architectural columns and the pier cap sides, while the pier caps were supported by a VPS dancefloor.

For the smaller structures, the MULTIFLEX shoring system proved to be the optimal solution. The main components of MULTIFLEX are the GT 24 girders and any PERI post shores, providing maximum flexibility for project-specific spacing and load-bearing capacity needs. The project team chose MULTIPROP post shores, which can be used as individual props or combined as towers for heavy loads, saving time and equipment needs.

Road to Progress  

Concrete construction on the North Spilt Reconstruction Project began in May 2021. The interchange opened in May 2023.