Kennedy Expressway’s Ohio Street Bridge erected

Bridges Case Studies September 17, 2014
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The time had come. The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) had found the 55-year-old Ohio Street feeder, part of Chicago’s Kennedy Expressway, in need of complete replacement. The interchange had to be demolished and a new bridge constructed in a complex, $16.5 million multiphase project that required absolute efficiency to prevent snarling traffic on this heavily traveled expressway interchange over I-90/94.
 
Project general contractor F.H. Paschen/S.N. Nielsen worked with fabricating companies on the construction of the curved and precast sections of the new bridge. Then they brought in erection specialist Metropolitan Steel Inc. (MSI), an AISC Advanced Certified Steel Erector serving the Chicago metropolitan area, to handle project phases involving new construction and erection (Phases I and III). MSI obtained cranes from Central Contractors Service in Illinois to handle the heavy lifting. Central is part of the ALL Family of Companies.
 
Phase I, which began in early spring and continued until mid-May, focused on construction of the right-side ramp lanes and involved the erection of four girder lines for a three-span section, four girder lines for a single-span section and 31 precast concrete beams.
 
For this work, Central Contractors Service supplied a number of all-terrain cranes. A 235-ton Liebherr LTM 1200-5.1 lifted and set girders up to 131 ft long, with weights ranging from 37,000 lb to 67,000 lb. A 300-ton Liebherr LTM1250-6.1 lifted pieces at 38,000 lb/70 ft long. When structural detailing was complete, a 65-ton Terex Challenger 3180 lifted precast sections, each piece at 38,000 lb/43 ft long.
 
Phase II, demolition of the old feeder ramp, was conducted without delay over two weekends in June.
 
Phase III, which began in late August and continued through September, included construction of the new left-side ramp lanes and consisted of three girder lines for a three-span section, three girder lines for a single-span section and 44 precast concrete beams. For Phase III, MSI again called on Central Contractors’ Liebherr LTM 1200-5.1 to lift four total spans, from 37,000 to 38,000 lb, with a maximum length of 100 ft. A 350-ton Grove GMK 6350 joined the job for this phase, lifting sections 50,000 lb/100 ft long and 67,000 lb/131 ft long. The 65-ton Terex again flew precast when structural detailing was complete.
 
ALL’s crane selection and planning tool, 3D Lift Plan, was used to determine crane boom clearances when hoisting would be done over existing structures. “This enabled MSI to plan for typical logistics challenges presented by this type of construction work, including weather-related issues,” said Dave Budzias, project manager for MSI. “We chose Central because of their combination of pricing, quality of service, reliability and accountability. Central provided successful and professional execution of nighttime crane setups and removals, including taking part in discussions with IDOT and the city of Chicago on ways to minimize traffic impact on Chicago’s busy interstates.”
 

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