Cannelville Road Bridge Project in Ohio Raises Bar for Short Span Design and Construction

July 29, 2019

The Cannelville Road Bridge in Muskingum County is the first of its kind in Ohio. Located near Roseville, the vehicular bridge utilizes an innovative press-brake-formed steel tub girder (PBTG) system. It was completed in just 26 days and has an expected service life of over 100 years.

The PBTG system consists of modular shallow trapezoidal boxes fabricated from cold-bent structural steel plate. For this project, after the plate was formed, a thin lightweight Sandwich Plate System (SPS) deck was bolted to the girder in the fabrication shop and guardrails were added, making it a modular unit that could be quickly assembled at the bridge site.

The bridge was delivered to the project site on two trucks in prefabricated half-width modules, each weighing approximately 31 tons. The modules were erected and positioned on their abutments in just 22 minutes.

The modules were bolted together in one day. A waterproof membrane and asphalt wearing course were subsequently applied. The bridge deck was metallized with zinc on all surfaces to provide additional corrosion protection from the low pH levels of the stream. Other superstructure components were hot-dipped galvanized to prevent corrosion from road chemicals.

The PBTG system was chosen for its ability to meet the design challenges, which includes steep ravines and low-lying areas. The stream fills up and drains quickly after stormy weather, transporting large debris such as root balls and tree limbs. Other options would have allowed debris to collect underneath and cause damage, but this bridge’s smooth tub girders allow debris to easily flow under it.

The bridge was financed in part with research funding from the FHWA due to the integrated PBTG/SPS deck demonstrating accelerated bridge construction. The work included removal of the existing bridge and abutments and the construction of new foundations, abutments, and superstructure. This bridge is longer than its predecessor at 52 ft 6 in.; 24 ft wide; and is designed to remain elastic under a TL-2 crash event. It has been in service since May 2017.

Multiple decking solutions can be used with the PBTG structure. The Cannelville Road Bridge is the first in the U.S. to use the SPS deck. Precast and cast-in-place decks are also good deck options.

Some highlights of the project include the following:

  • The fabrication process took place off-site, saving 3-4 months of construction time.
  • Both PBTG/SPS modules were erected and set on the abutments in just 22 minutes.

  • Each PBTG module with the SPS deck and TL-2 crash barriers weighed only 31 tons. 

  • The project was completed ahead of schedule, requiring only 26 days.

  • The bridge was set in place by an Ohio crew and is expected to have a service life of more than 100 years.

  • This project opens the door for future PBTG projects in other counties and states.

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