Experienced contractor finishes difficult job right before Memorial Day

Equipment Article July 06, 2012
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At 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, May 20, Hall Contracting finished paving the deck of the Eggner’s Ferry Bridge.

With beating the Memorial Day deadline in sight, Randy Downey, project manager for Hall Contracting–Louisville, Ky., could reflect on the incredible amount of work completed in a short period of time.

On Jan. 26, 2012, a cargo ship struck a 322-ft-long span of the U.S. 68/KY 80 Eggner’s Ferry Bridge, setting off a chain of events. The bridge is a vital link to the Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area, and the closure resulted in a 42-mile detour; the missing span had to be replaced.

For the next six weeks, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KTC) worked feverishly to inspect the bridge’s piers for damage, reviewed hand-drawn blueprints for the 81-year-old bridge, published a request for bid to replace the missing section of the truss bridge and wanted the bridge open in time for Memorial Day.

“The contract deadline was midnight Sunday, May 27, with a $50,000-per-day disincentive” said Keith Todd, public information officer for districts 1 and 2 of the KTC.

Hall received the $7 million contract on March 8. In less than 12 weeks, he sourced more than 300 tons of steel, selected a construction site, built the span’s truss frame with the aid of Terex rough-terrain cranes and loaded the 320-ton span on a barge with the aid of a Terex CC2800-2 crawler crane. On May 15, the 322-ft span was lifted onto the piers. “If the mill had not shut down for over a week, we would have had this done sooner,” recalled Downey.

One final hurdle was left to complete: deck paving. In less than four days, crews finished placing the metal decking, installed rebar and shot 6,000 sheer connectors. The bridge’s deck width measured only 21 ft, but the steel truss design posed a challenge. “On the rail, we had 1-in. clearance from the axle to the diagonal supports,” said Downey.

The versatile Terex Bid-Well 3600 paver offers a number of options designed to meet virtually any paving challenge. Hall’s crew equipped the 3600 paver with its swing leg option to adapt to the confined space. The swing legs offer zero-clearance paving and the variable position, offset legs provide an additional 2 ft length for variable-width paving.

The 3600 offers standard paving widths from 8 to 86 ft, and its sturdy 36-in. truss depth helps prevent deflection at extended widths. “We recently paved a 75-ft-wide bridge deck with a 45° skew angle,” recalled Downey. “We paved at the skew, which made our paver much longer, and equipped the paving carriage with its skew bar kit.”

At 5:30 a.m. on May 20, crews began pumping the Class AA 4,000-psi concrete mix onto the new span; a galenium accelerator served to achieve compressive strength within 24 hours.

“We needed to quickly get equipment on the slab, so we could pour the curb and finish the deck,” said Downey.

Within five hours, 160 cu yd of concrete was paved with the 3600. The paver’s patented Rota-Vibe system helped to improve slab quality by reconsolidating the top 2.5in. of the concrete.

The Eggner’s Ferry Bridge was open to traffic on May 25, two days ahead of schedule.

“I have a lot of respect and appreciation for Hall Contracting,” said Todd. “It’s great to live in a country where an impossible bid is let and companies put their reputations on the line to get it done.” R&B

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