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VIDEO: Contractor Places Bridge On Pennsylvania Turnpike, Crushes Tight Deadline By Full Six Hours

Thu December 15, 2022 - Northeast Edition #26
Colin Kund – Special to CEG

Demolition of the existing bridge is in full swing, with concrete and old girders being removed.(Photo courtesy of H&K Group Inc.) An overhead shot showing the existing bridge and the new structure to the east of it.
(Photo courtesy of H&K Group Inc.) The new bridge has started the process of being slid into place.(Photo courtesy of H&K Group Inc.) This pre-construction photo shows grubbing and land clearing completed. Access roads are just beginning to be cut in.
(Photo courtesy of H&K Group Inc.) The completed structure in place with traffic once again flowing.(Photo courtesy of H&K Group Inc.) Paving is in full swing to prepare to open the highway back up to traffic. New barrier has been installed.
(Photo courtesy of H&K Group Inc.) This photo shows the beginning stages of the falsework being fabricated in place. The Caterpillar excavator is bringing rebar to the crews working under the bridge in preparation for the forming of the bridge abutments.
(Photo courtesy of H&K Group Inc.)
A crew prepares a Bidwell concrete paver for the upcoming deck pour. Another crew prepares for a pour that will finish the abutments.(Photo courtesy of H&K Group Inc.) Concrete is being placed on the deck via a concrete pump truck.(Photo courtesy of H&K Group Inc.) Concrete is being placed on the deck via a concrete pump truck.(Photo courtesy of H&K Group Inc.) The demolition of the bridge has started.
(Photo courtesy of H&K Group Inc.)

Over the weekend of Oct. 15, 2022, H&K Group Inc.'s (H&K's) Structures Division successfully completed an Accelerated Bridge Construction (ABC) project for the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission in Lehigh County.

Only a handful of ABC projects have been completed in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The project involved the replacement of NB-363 over Huckleberry Road (T-559) at Milepost A-59.20, located approximately 2 mi. north of the Lehigh Valley Interchange. The existing structure was a three-span, rolled steel multi-beam bridge, and it was replaced with a single-span, plate girder structure.

New substructure units were constructed under the existing superstructure and the new superstructure was constructed on temporary falsework, on the east side of the existing structure. This technique eliminated the need for many of the traffic restrictions normally associated with this type of bridge replacement.

Work on the project began on March 8, 2022. Crews used 5,598 sq. ft. of soil nail and shotcrete to support the needed structure excavation. The footings for the new structure were supported by 12,605 linear ft. of micropiles. In total, 921 cu. yds. of concrete was used for the new structure, and 822 cu. yds. of flowable fill was used to backfill the new abutments. A large portion of this work had been completed well before the bridge was to be rolled into place.

To facilitate the installation of the new superstructure, I-476 between Lehigh Valley (Exit 56) and Mahoning Valley (Exit 74) had to be detoured for a maximum of 55 hours, with significant penalties for excess time. The work was required to be completed between the timeframe of 9 p.m., Friday (10/14/22) through 4 a.m., Monday (10/17/22).

During this period, the existing bridge superstructure was demolished using excavators to remove and crush the concrete deck and pillars, and by torching the beams to enable easier removal. By 9 a.m. on Saturday morning, the new 1,400,000-lb. superstructure had begun moving into place. The bridge was rolled 95 linear ft. into final position before being set down on the abutments. The abutments were backfilled, new median barrier was installed and roadway approaches were paved. Worked progressed around the clock with a dedicated group of H&K workers and subcontractors.

H&K completed the project a full six hours ahead of schedule. The southbound lanes of I-476 were open at 8:45 p.m., Sunday evening; by 9:45 p.m., the northbound lanes had reopened as well. On Monday morning, cleanup of demolition materials and other services commenced. The full project is expected to be completed in December of this year.

H&K offered special thanks to KCI Technologies, Joseph B. Fay Company, Buckingham Heavy Transport, Interstate Safety Service, Guidemark Inc., Mattiola Services LLC., Established Traffic Control, Traffic Regulators and EVB Towing for assisting with the project. H&K also lauded its estimating, project management, engineering, field and support teams for making the operation such a success. CEG

(Colin Kund is a corporate photographer/digital media specialist of H&K Group Inc.)

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