Better Roads Staff
A Bonus Bridge
As a bonus, most of that temporary bridge was made of material Lane had available and doing nothing at the time. Innovation in planning and design was made to work by innovative engineering on the ground.
Safety was a huge factor because the median was placed behind concrete barrier walls and no one and no equipment was exposed to unimpeded passing traffic. No cones or flagmen and no “trucks entering highway” problems were created. Clearly time lost to normal access methods was stripped from the delivery time.
Imagine the savings in time, money, insurance and so on. And that’s to both contractor and NCDOT.
“It became very apparent that an innovative approach was critical to the success of the bid, and,ultimately the project.”
- Lane Construction
The new road built on the median will eventually take traffic while the current lanes are redone. Then, with concrete barriers from the median work still in place, the old outer lanes will be redone.
In this project old asphalt roads are being replaced with concrete.
“One of the important aspects of this is that Lane had to set up their own concrete plant,” says Diggs. “Once the plant was set up concrete trucks would have had to use a road that crosses I-85, a road already over capacity and being worked on to be made into a Superstreet, then go down Interstate on-ramps, run the down that busy Interstate and then access the median. And vice versa. With the temporary bridge and ramps that doesn’t happen.”
The company says that it decided an innovative approach was critical to the success of their bid.
“It became very apparent that an innovative approach was critical to the success of the bid and, ultimately, the project,” says the company spokesperson. “Contract time restrictions on I-85 and all roads crossing the interstate mandated the development of an approach that had never been used before. Building on a concept that had proven to be highly successful on other projects, Lane staff took a revolutionary innovation to the next level with the median access bridge and ramps. This concept provides unimpeded access to the median of I-85 and also Lane’s offices and staging areas on both sides of the Interstate.”
Lane had, in the past, used existing, working bridges to create median access ramps. This was a first stand-alone it had considered. There had been the I-95 widening project in Woodbridge, Va., the I-77 widening design-build project in Mecklenburg County, N.C., and the I-385 widening design-build project in Greenville County, S.C. In all of these cases the median access ramps ran down from existing overpass bridges.
The job is actually several projects including installing the first diverging diamond interchanges in the state. A new bridge has been built and the old own is being demolished. Work on Charlotte’s outer loop is involved and there is an
“Originally the projects weren’t scheduled to start construction until 2015,” says NCDOT. “Using the design-build finance method, NCDOT was able to accelerate all three projects.”
It was two days from the end. Robert E. Lee was withdrawing and Ulysses S. Grant was pursuing him. Between them were bridges over the Appomattox River that Confederates had to destroy.
At the Battle of High Bridge, April 7,1865, Confederate soldiers set that bridge afire. But Union troops made sure it didn’t completely burn. They could use it. The Confederate Army could not rest. Lee surrendered two days later.
That historic original bridge was replaced in the early 1900s by Norfolk and Western Railroad, which eventually became part of Norfolk Southern Railroad. In 2004, Norfolk Southern donated more than 30 miles of abandoned railbed to the Commonwealth of Virginia to develop a historic trail park. Prior to its recent completion, the High Bridge was the only part of High Bridge Trail State Park not open to the public.
The renovation transformed a nearly 100-year-old abandoned railroad bridge into an efficiently reconstructed rails-to-trails pedestrian/bicycle/hiking/equestrian pathway more than 120 feet above the river.
MORE FROM Better Bridges
- Rand Paul introduces bill to fund emergency transportation projects470 Views
- Sydney uses water curtains to alert drivers to stop (VIDEO)466 Views
- Tesla Model S earns top ratings from Consumer Reports435 Views
- Big four cellphone companies jointly launch anti-texting campaign260 Views
- Acceptance of connected vehicles depends on cost, LaHood says252 Views