A tired bridge west of Hagerstown, Md., is undergoing rehabilitation through the Maryland State Highway Administration’s (SHA) bridge preservation and replacement program.
The project involves the I-70 bridge over Conococheague Creek, which is a dual bridge constructed in 1965. According to Heather Keels, District 6 and 7 community liaison of the SHA’s Office of Customer Relations and Information, the bridge was still safe for the traveling public, but was showing signs of deterioration. The rehabilitation and widening will extend its life by an additional 30 to 50 years.
The project cost is estimated at approximately $16.5 million, which will be federally funded. Construction began in June 2012, and is on schedule for an expected completion by fall 2014, weather permitting.
SHA awarded the contract to Concrete General Inc. of Gaithersburg, with Butch Lundgren as the general superintendent. Jeff Foreman serves as the SHA project engineer.
The scope of the project includes widening the existing bridges in the median area of I-70, removal and replacement of the bridge deck and structural steel, widening of the existing bridge piers, repair and widening of existing bridge abutments, widening and resurfacing of the approach roadways, construction of stormwater management measures throughout the limits of the project, and installation of new traffic barriers, signing and reflective pavement markings.
When complete, each side of the bridge will be 51 ft. (15.5 m) wide, an increase from the original 30 ft. 4 in. (9.2 m). The highway will continue to have two lanes in each direction, but wide inner shoulders will allow room for the potential future addition of a third lane.
“The I-70 bridges over Conococheague Creek are some of the highest in Maryland, approximately 55 feet above the normal water level,” Keels explained. “To provide access during construction of the piers, the contractor built a temporary bridge across Conococheague Creek below the highway bridges. Due to flooding concerns, the contractor had to carefully monitor the water level and be prepared to remove this bridge. Sure enough, removal did become necessary as Hurricane Sandy approached in Oct. 2012.”
Keels noted that there is similar project under way about one mile to the east to rehabilitate the I-70 bridges over MD 63 (Greencastle Pike).
“The two projects are being built by different contractors, but project managers have coordinated closely on lane closures and other maintenance of traffic plans to keep traffic flowing as smoothly as possible,” she said. “Maryland Safezones Automated speed enforcement is in place for both of these adjacent work zones, with the speed limit reduced to 55 mph.”
During peak construction, Concrete General has 15 to 20 employees on the job, and each sub-contractor arrives with five to seven employees depending on the operation.
Major subcontractors include Interlock Steel Works Inc., Mount Airy, Md., to furnish and tie rebar, furnish and erect bearings, and erect structural steel; Atlantic Traffic Safety Inc., Ocean City, Md., for temporary traffic signs; Seed & Site Solutions, Damascus, Md., for temporary orange construction fence, and inlet protection (super silt fence, temporary seed and mulch, turf grass establishment and soil stabilization matting); Hillis-Carnes Engineering Associates Inc., Annapolis Junction, Md., for subfoundation investigation; Nestor Inc., Freeport, Pa., for shoulder rumble strips; and Paul J. Rach Inc., Baltimore, Md., for concrete ditch, concrete bridge parapet, and concrete curb and gutter.
Major equipment used on the job includes a Liebherr 600-ton (544 t) LTM1500 crane, used for setting structural steel; a Liebherr 350-ton (317.5 t) crane, used for setting structural steel; an Ingersoll Rand rubber tire drum roller; JLG lifts; Mabey temporary bridge components; a Cat 963 track loader; a Cat D-5 dozer; and a Komatsu track hoe.
Materials quantities include 8,300 cu. yd. (6,346 cu m) of Class 1 excavation; 1,363 LF (415 m) of polyethylene pipe (various sizes); 4,219 LF (1,286 m) of underdrain; 1,700 LF (518 m) of HP 12 x 53 bearing piles; 1,843 cu. yd. (1,409 cu m) of superstructure concrete; and 2,049 cu yd. (1,566 cu m) of substructure concrete.
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