Bridge Project Expected to Beat Deadline

Mon May 10, 2010 - Northeast Edition
Brenda Ruggiero

Workers build abutment B under a temporary span.
Workers build abutment B under a temporary span.
Workers build abutment B under a temporary span. A pair of John Deere excavators help demolish the tops of the old abutments. Equipment is positioned and ready to remove the old bridge and set the new span. The ballast tamper is lifted onto the tracks. Crews work on removing the old span. Storm sewer installation is seen here under the existing waterline. The mainline roadwork nears completion in April 2010. A host of cranes lift the bridge superstructure into place.

A railroad bridge replacement project is nearing an early completion date in the city of Waynesboro, Va., under the direction of the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT).

The contract of $9,862,043 was awarded to Abernathy Construction, Glen Allen, Va. The project is headed by David Abernathy, superintendent, and Jeffrey Abernathy. According to Sandy Myers, public relations manager of VDOT’s Staunton District, Abernathy redesigned the railroad bridge, saving the organization $400,000.

Crews began work on Aug. 26, 2008, and the project now has an anticipated completion date of June 2010. However, the mandatory completion date is Nov. 7, 2011.

The contract calls for the construction of .13 mi. (.20 km) of Delphine Ave. (Route 340), a major thoroughfare of Waynesboro. Work includes grading, drainage, asphalt pavement, utilities, curb and gutter, sidewalks, retaining walls and replacement of the railroad bridge.

Myers noted that the project has presented several challenges. For example, the project calls for the construction of a single track railroad bridge in the same location as the existing structure without the use of a temporary run around/bypass structure while maintaining rail traffic

“Another challenge is the construction of a large storm drainage system [involving 5 ft. concrete pipe] in limited right of way while maintaining safe trenches, water, and sanitary sewer facilities to adjacent residences and businesses in substantial traffic flow,” she explained.

Finally, workers were required to construct retaining walls in a limited right of way. During the project, traffic also was maintained at the major City of Waynesboro intersection of Delphine Avenue and Main Street.

Myers noted that planned track outages were 12 eight-hour curfews and two 24-hour curfews, but the structure was completed using two 12-hour curfews and one 24-hour curfew.

“The new concrete substructures were constructed under the existing track while maintaining rail traffic by utilizing temporary ’jump spans,’” she said. “The steel superstructure was constructed on site, and the 316,000-pound structure was installed within the 24-hour curfew in addition to the existing abutment being removed to a sufficient elevation and the track replaced. Rail service was restored in 20 hours.”

Myers reported that a soldier pile wall was constructed to limit the impact to an adjacent property.

“The wall was constructed utilizing drilled caissons, H-Piles, timber lagging, and concrete face panels,” she said.

Myers reported a savings of $120,000 to the project for the re-design of traffic detours and traffic control.

“The re-design also saved 80 days of project construction and traffic encumbrances,” she said.

During the period of peak production, a workforce of between 25 and 30 employees was maintained by Abernathy Construction.

Excavation included 18,819 cu. yds. (14,388 cu m) of earth for the project.

Major subcontractors included B & S Contracting, Staunton, Va., for asphalt paving; Contracting Unlimited, Harrisonburg, Va., for curb and gutter/sidewalk; and EC Pace Construction, Roanoke, Va., for public utilities.

Major equipment used on the job included two Link-Belt LS-518 cranes, a Link-Belt LS-218H crane, an American 5530 truck crane, a John Deere 330 CLC excavator and a Hitachi 450 excavator.

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