Crews Wrap Up Jeremiah Morrow Bridge

📅   Tue January 17, 2017 - Midwest Edition
By Brenda Ruggiero


Only minor work remains to complete an $88 million project on the Jeremiah Morrow Bridge in Warren County, Ohio.
Only minor work remains to complete an $88 million project on the Jeremiah Morrow Bridge in Warren County, Ohio.
Only minor work remains to complete an $88 million project on the Jeremiah Morrow Bridge in Warren County, Ohio. “The completion of this project will have an enormous benefit to Ohio,” said Tammy Campbell, ODOT District 8 deputy director. The new bridges will carry two lanes in each direction across the Little Miami Valley, but reportedly have room to add a third lane in the future. The project is located between Columbus and Cincinnati and replaces the high level bridges on Interstate 71 just outside Wilmington.

Only minor work remains to complete an $88 million project on the Jeremiah Morrow Bridge in Warren County, Ohio. A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held on Nov. 18, to commemorate the completion of the project's major workload.

“The new structures will help to keep people safe and commerce moving in Ohio,” said Jerry Wray Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) director. “They will serve the people for several decades.”

The new Jeremiah Morrow structures are among Ohio's longest bridges, spanning nearly 2,300 ft. (701 m), and also are the state's tallest at 239 ft. (72 m) above the Little Miami River. The main spans will be 440 ft. (134 m) wide, and will carry more than 40,000 vehicles daily on Interstate 71.

“The completion of this project will have an enormous benefit to Ohio,” said Tammy Campbell, ODOT District 8 deputy director. “Pulling this project together was an enormous undertaking and its efficient completion is a tribute to our project team.”

The new bridges will carry two lanes in each direction across the Little Miami Valley, but reportedly have room to add a third lane in the future. Construction on the project began in August, 2010.

The project is located between Columbus and Cincinnati and replaces the high level bridges on Interstate 71 just outside Wilmington. The existing deck truss bridges were replaced with a concrete cast-in-place segmental box structure using the balanced cantilever method of construction.

The twin spans are named after Jeremiah Morrow, who served as a state senator, Ohio's first U.S. representative, a U.S. senator, and an Ohio governor between 1803 and 1842.

Omnipro Services is providing comprehensive construction support and construction site services for ODOT for the project.

The northbound replacement span opened to traffic on Nov. 20, 2013. This first phase took three years to complete. The new bridge is reportedly designed for so-called super loads, unlike the old structure.

HNTB is the engineer-of-record, providing construction services for ODOT. The bridge design features cast-in-place, unbalanced cantilever segmental construction to enhance construction safety while minimizing lifting and environmental impact.

The substructure consists of cast-in-place wall piers on footings supported on drilled shafts or driven steel piles. Smaller drilled shafts support abutments, and the concrete box girder meets zero-tension design criteria for superior durability. Horizontal jacking balances the effects of creep, shrinkage and thermal shifts. Spare use of bearings and expansion joints reportedly reduces long-term maintenance costs.

Kokosing was awarded the project to reconstruct the Jeremiah Morrow Bridge in June of 2010. The project consists of replacing the existing bridge and replacing/realigning I-71 on both sides of the bridge. The project will be constructed in five phases. The total project length is 1.9 mi. (3 km). The project has 9.9 million lbs. (4.4 million kg) of reinforcing steel, 2.2 million lbs. (997,000 kg) of post tensioning steel, and 1,400 linear ft. (426 m) of drilled shafts.

Funding for the project is from state and federal gas tax allocation.

According to Brian Cunningham, communications manager of ODOT District 8, the contract calls for construction of two new bridges to replace the two existing bridges built in 1965 in essentially the same Little Miami River Valley footprint.

“The new bridges are cast-in-place, post tensioned structures and were built using the balanced cantilever method,” he said. “The new bridges have been designed for three lanes of traffic on each structure, but will consist of two travel lanes and a shoulder on each until widening of I-71 to three lanes is necessary in the future.”

According to Cunningham, the main challenge was making sure debris did not fall into the Little Miami River — a state scenic river.

Each of the 131 individual segments of the bridges are 55 ft. (16.7 m) wide and 16 ft. (4.8 m) long.

“A single concrete footing with reinforcing weighs approximately 2.8 million pounds, equal to about 170 elephants,” Cunningham said. “To match the weight of all the bridge's footings, you would need about 188,829 people — three times the capacity of Paul Brown Stadium where the Cincinnati Bengals play. If a concrete column were built to the dimension of a piece of paper, it would have to be 383 miles tall to equal the amount of concrete in the Jeremiah Morrow Bridges.

“The bridges contain about 3.1 million lineal feet Columbus, Ohio, to Atlanta, Ga.”

Scott Cambell serves as the design engineer. Reinforcement steel placement was by J & B Steel Erectors Inc. and the concrete supplier was Spurlino Materials. CEG