Top 10 Bridges 2002

Bridges Article December 03, 2002
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Top 10 Bridges

1. COOPER RIVER BRIDGE

The biggest name in hurricanes is powerless against the Cooper River Bridge in South Carolina. The span is designed to withstand wind gusts in excess of 300 mph. The structure also can withstand without total failure an earthquake event up to about 7.3 or 7.4 on the Richter scale. With a main span of 1,546 ft, this will be the longest cable-stayed bridge in the Northern Hemisphere until the New Mississippi River Bridge is constructed. Total cost: $531 million.

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2. HOOVER DAM BRIDGE

In the structural world, concrete and steel go together. The Hoover Dam will have a partner in five years?a steel deck arch bridge. The span will be 1,900 ft long and 840 ft above water. Geologic mapping and geotechnical assessment is currently under way, and roadway construction was scheduled to start in late 2002. Total cost: $231 million (includes road construction).

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3. U.S. 64/264 MANTEO BYPASS

North Carolina cut the ribbon to its longest bridge back on Aug. 19. The 5.2-mile bridge, part of the four-lane U.S. 64/264 Manteo Bypass, will cut 15 miles off travel between Roanoke Island and the north end of Dare County and improve hurricane evacuation for the Outer Banks. The bridge was designed as a conventional cast-in-place structure with modified bulb tee girders. Total cost: $91 million.

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4. I-40 BRIDGE

Tragedy struck Oklahoma this summer when a barge hit the the I-40 Bridge, killing 14. Three of the piers had to be replaced, cutting off one of the most vital transportation links in the state. Crews worked 20-hour days to repair the bridge in less than 47 days. Total cost: $24 million.

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5. HATHAWAY BRIDGE

The old can't handle spring break in Florida. That's why FDOT has decided to replace the Hathaway Bridge, the only direct link between Panama City and Panama City Beach, with twin 80-ft-wide segmental concrete box girder bridges with seven spans of 330 ft. The move should relieve a serious bottleneck. Total cost: $83 million.

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6. WILLIAM H. NATCHER BRIDGE

Named after a late Kentucky Congressman, the William H. Natcher Bridge connects U.S. 60 northeast of Owensboro, Ky., with U.S. 231 northeast of Rockport, Ind. The 4,505-ft-long, four-lane bridge consists of a 1,200-ft cable-stayed main span and two 500-ft cable-stayed side spans. Total cost: $70 million.

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7. 17TH STREET CAUSEWAY

Called ?Ft. Lauderdale's Signature Bridge,? the 17th Street Causeway comes with a unique aesthetic design that includes 675,000 brick pavers. The span carries four lanes of traffic, two bicycle lanes/outside shoulders and is 1,908 ft long. Total cost: $68 million.

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8. SMART ROAD BRIDGE

Few have seen a more attractive research project. The Smart Road Bridge, near Blacksburg, Va., was built to functionally support the state's Smart Road transportation research project. The state's tallest bridge?175 ft above the valley floor?is 2,000 ft long and features cantilever construction with cast-in-place segments and concrete-embedded, post-tensioned steel cable. Total cost: $17.4 million.

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9. IOWA RIVER BRIDGE

The Iowa Department of Transportation recently won the Administrator's Environmental Quality Award from the Federal Highway Administration for work done on the Iowa River Bridge. The span, located in the Iowa River Greenbelt, established new U.S. records for the longest total-launched steel bridge and the longest free cantilever. Total cost: $20 million.

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10. BRANDON PARKWAY

Tampa, Fla., has tomorrow in sight. The Brandon Parkway is the future of highway expansion. This elevated structure will be a precast concrete segmental box girder bridge with precast segmental piers. Total cost: $158 million (current bid price).

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