Innovative Construction Technique Shaves Time Off CTDOT Construction Schedule

Thu July 20, 2017 - Northeast Edition #15

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) Commissioner Jim Redeker announced that as a result of innovative construction techniques, CTDOT has been able to shave off three months from the construction schedule for the new, replacement bridge that is being built over the West River along I-95 northbound and southbound, which connects New Haven and West Haven. The bridge carries about 135,000 vehicles per day.

“Now three months ahead of schedule, the DOT — along with its contractors and construction crews — continue to make progress,” Malloy said. “We all agree that for too many decades, our state did not make the investments needed to ensure we maintained a modernized transportation system. Through projects like this, we are finally taking bold steps towards making a best-in-class transportation system a reality. The growth of our economy depends on these kinds of major upgrades, and our residents deserve nothing less than an efficient, upgraded, and renewed infrastructure that advances progress, mitigates congestion, and creates jobs.”

A unique method of incremental launching of the steel girders is being employed on the project. Rather than erecting the steel one piece at a time during nighttime lane closures, the girders are being assembled in the median and incrementally “pushed” from east to west, along the entire length of the new bridge. This operation was originally scheduled to take 60 days of nighttime lane closures and interference with traffic. With the revised method, all construction will be completed in the current work zone during the daytime, requiring only three days of interference to existing traffic flow.

In addition, by allowing for daytime work activity, this accelerated bridge construction will eliminate a total of 292 nighttime work shifts, greatly reducing the inconvenience to the traveling public.

“These methods were chosen with the goal of limiting the traveling public's exposure to construction activities,” James P. Redeker, CTDOT commissioner said. “This project will improve mobility and benefit the region for decades to come.”

An example of innovative methodology utilized by the contractor included the use of self-propelled modular transporters (SPMT) for the demolition of the existing bridge superstructure. Large sections of deck/parapet/steel girders were removed and transported utilizing the SPMT transport units. Originally scheduled to take 60 days of nighttime lane closures, it was completed in only 10 nights.

Originally scheduled for completed on Dec. 1, 2018, the work is now expected to be completed by Aug. 31, 2018.

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