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Reed &?Reed Replaces Portland’s Vital Veteran’s Memorial Bridge

Thu November 03, 2011 - Northeast Edition
Jay Adams

By Jay Adams


Take 35,000 linear ft. (10,668 m) of steel pipe, add 1 million lbs. (453,592 kg) of rebar, mix in 10,500 cu. yds. (8,027 cu m) of concrete and viola! You have replaced a 60-year-old bridge with a modern design-build classic.

Reed & Reed Inc., Woolwich, Maine, is the designer and builder of The Veteran’s Memorial Bridge Replacement Project, owned by the Maine Department of Transportation.

The existing Veteran’s Memorial Bridge, which carries U.S. Route 1 across the Fore River from Portland to South Portland, Maine, was built in the early 1950s. The bridge currently serves 10,000 vehicles per day and is a major connecting route from Interstate 295 to the business district and working waterfront of Portland.

Reed & Reed, which has had a stellar reputation in the construction and contracting industry since 1929, has worked with top designer architects to construct what will surely become a modern classic in Maine.

According to Reed & Reed Project Manager Charlie Guerette, the $63.12 million project will be finished on time, on budget and is 85 percent complete at this writing.

Span’s 100-Year Lifespan

“We are teamed with TY Lin International to complete design and construction of the new bridge and the removal of the existing bridge,” said Guerette. “The project was awarded on a ’best value’ to the owner system where all proposals were judged in five different areas for technical score. The five evaluation criteria were Design Concept; Context Sensitive Solutions; Project Management and Quality Program; Maintenance and Protection of Traffic/Project Sequencing; and Public Information Plan.

“The basis of the award [was finalized] in total lump sum price/technical score,” added Guerette. “Reed & Reed’s proposal was the lowest lump sum price and the highest technical score.”

The company’s lump sum bid was for $63 million.

Guerette added that the scope of the project is to replace the existing bridge with a new bridge designed to last a century — a span, that is, with a 100-year lifespan. The total length of the new bridge is 1610 ft. (490 m).

“The new bridge is a segmental precast concrete super structure, consisting of parallel trapezoidal concrete box sections, approximately 40 feet wide with a three-foot cast in place deck section between the boxes to create one uniform deck surface, approximately 83 feet wide. The deck will support two lanes of traffic in each direction and a separated multi-purpose lane for bikes and pedestrians.

“We have six piers in the river, spaced at 250 feet with the two abutment spans slightly shorter,” he added. “The river piers consist of pipe pile supported cast in place, concrete footings and pier shafts, constructed with sheet pile cofferdams and concrete seal placements.”

According to Reed & Reed’s Project Manager, the history of the project has gone like this, thus far:

• Proposals were submitted in November 2009

• Technical score summaries and pricing were opened in January 2010 and the project was awarded in February 2010.

• Work began on construction of the new bridge in August 2010.

A terrible Maine winter — one of the worst New England has seen in 20 or more years — did not deter the Reed & Reed crews.

“We worked through the winter of 2010, into 2011, constructing river piers, the Portland abutment and some MSE retaining wall. We began erecting precast segments in May of 2011,” stated Guerette.

Pier and abutment construction was completed in July 2011.

The segmental erection will be completed on Nov. 10, 2011.

Guerette added that 361 segmental bridge sections have been erected in just seven months.

“This winter, we will complete the concrete curb and center closure concrete on the bridge deck and be ready for membrane and paving in the spring of 2012,” he said.

The scheduled date to open the new bridge is July 2012.

“Contract completion date is Dec. 31, 2011. This will leave us six months to remove the existing bridge and demobilize the site,” said the Project Manager.

Expanded Crews, Long Hours

Guerette said there will be no 2011-2012 winter shut down for crews, no matter how deep the snow or fierce the Maine winds blow.

“We have worked one shift, mainly 9-10 hours per day, five days a week. We had no winter shut down during the winter of 2010 and don’t plan to shut down in 2011,” said the boss. “The first eight months of the project, we had a staff of approximately 25 field crew and seven office support people working primarily on bridge substructure.

“In May of 2010, as segmental erection began, and the substructure work continued, our crew grew to a high point of 65 field crew and 15 office support. Our current staff includes 38 in the field and 12 in support of field operations,” said Guerette.

Primarily, he added, Reed & Reed is using Manitowoc 16000 440-ton (399 t) and 999 275-ton (249 t) crane models, both barge mounted, to erect pre-cast segments. These cranes are both owned by Reed & Reed.

The formidable steel of the project — 35,000 linear ft. of steel pipe pile, was supplied by Skyline Steel. The 1 million lbs. of rebar was furnished by HAr-Mac Rebar, and the 10,500 cu. yds. of concrete was supplied by Dragon Products.

In addition, 8,000 tons (7,257 t) of asphalt will be put down, with work to be completed by Pike Industries. There also will be 1.25 million linear ft. (381,000 m) of post tensioning cable and 9,660 linear ft. (2,944 m) of post tension bars, both supplied by DSI-USA of Chicago.

Another major supplier was Unistress Corporation of Pittsfield, Mass., which built the precast segments. These segments were built in its plant in Pittsfield and trucked to the job site.

Guerette was quick to credit his team and crew for the splendid work done so far, completing almost 90 percent of the work on the new bridge, including:

• Project Superintendent Jay Whittemore – who has 30 years with Reed & Reed

• Segmental Erection Superintendent Tom Reed — 4th generation family member, who has put in 30 years with his company.

• Concrete Superintendent Roger Langley

• Assistant Project Manager Dustin Littlefield

• Quality Control Manager Charlie Seavey

• Post Tensioning and Grouting Foreman Chris Bishop, who has a quarter century at Reed & Reed

• Substructure/piling foreman Larry Tomon, another 25-year-man

• Segmental erection foreman Dana Lagasse, with 15 years on the job

“We have an awesome crew with experience, intelligence and willingness to handle any challenge encountered,” said the proud Guerette.

This is the first precast segmental bridge that Reed & Reed has ever built, added the Project Manager, but they were ready as planned.

“We did gain a lot of experience working on the Penobscot Narrow Bridge (2005-2007). That was a cast-in-place segmental, cable-stayed bridge in Verona, Maine,” he said.

What made R&R the best choice for this project, beyond the bid, Guerette explained, was that, “We had control of the design process. We worked closely with TY Lin and designed a bridge we knew we could build efficiently. We submitted a good design, and have an excellent history of completing complex bridge jobs on time and on budget,” added Guerette.

Reed & Reed also gave credit to its sub-contractors on the project, including: RJ Grondin of Gorham, Maine, which is doing the earth work on the approaches to the bridge and AD Electric of Sabattus, Maine, the electrical and lighting subcontractor.

About the Company

Reed & Reed was founded in 1928. The thriving contracting and heavy iron construction company employs about 200 people.

Beyond building and rebuilding bridges, highways and roads, it is noted for its Marine building work, wind power generation and solid diversification.

Asked to name the company’s top eight projects over the past decade, Reed & Reed identified:

• Kibby Mountain Wind Power — Eustis, Maine

• Penobscot Narrows Bridge — Verona, Maine

• Ocean Gateway — Portland, Maine, a cruise ship terminal

• Norridgewock Bridge Replacement — 300 ft (91 m), tied concrete arch.

• Back River Bridge — Arrowsic, Maine

• Rollins Mountain Wind Power — Lincoln, Maine

• Stetson Mountain Wind Power — Danforth, Maine

• Deer Isle Bridge Foundation Rehab — Deer Isle, Maine

So, what sets Reed & Reed apart to complete another difficult, Maine, multi-winter project on time and on budget?

“We have excellent experience and job knowledge,” said Guerette. “We have the right equipment for the job, and a crew with a great attitude and desire to complete the project safely and productively on schedule.”

For more information, visit CEG

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