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Virginia DOT Awarded $1.15 Million for Bridge Research

Tue October 24, 2006 - National Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has awarded the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) $1.15 million under FHWA’s Innovative Bridge Research and Construction (IBRC) program to use innovative materials on three new Virginia bridges.

Virginia is the only state to receive more than $1 million from this program this year.

VDOT, through its research division, the Virginia Transportation Research Council, will use this money to replace or build new bridges in the following locations:

• Canton Road (Route 1302) over Canton Creek, Town of Tangier (Tangier Island in Chesapeake Bay), Accomack County (award: $400,000)

• Route 16 over Fox Creek, Troutdale, Grayson County (award: $400,000)

• Route 28 over Broad Run, Bristow, Prince William County (award: $350,000)

The IBRC program helps state and local governments incorporate new materials and other technologies in their bridge work to reduce traffic congestion and maintenance, increase savings and productivity by lowering life-cycle costs and generally enhance safety.

Tangier Island

The Tangier Island bridges will replace two timber bridges over Canton Creek as the old bridges have deteriorated and are difficult to maintain. The new bridges will have steel trusses, each with innovative fiber-reinforced polymer decks that have undergone extensive lab testing at Virginia Tech. Tangier Island has no infrastructure for highway maintenance, so using these durable components will reduce the long-term costs of transporting crews, equipment and materials from the mainland. VDOT already has begun work on these bridges.

Route 16

The new bridge replacing the current structure on Route 16 over Fox Creek in Grayson County will have deck panels made of precast full-width, full-depth, prestressed concrete, which lends itself to rapid construction, reducing traffic disruption during construction. Such precast components generally are more durable, as construction tolerances can be more closely controlled in a precast plant than in field construction.

Route 28

VDOT will replace the Route 28 bridge over Broad Run at Bristow in Prince William County with one that features self-consolidating concrete in the drilled shafts supporting the structure. This innovative concrete can eliminate undesirable voids in the material as it hardens. Materials experts from the Virginia Transportation Research Council will work with VDOT to develop the best concrete mixtures for this project.

Malcolm T. Kerley, VDOT’s chief engineer, said these federal grants “reflect on the great reputation of the Virginia Transportation Research Council and the cooperative relationship among VDOT’s Structure and Bridge Division, FHWA and the council.”

Gary R. Allen, VDOT’s chief of Technology, Research and Innovation, added that, “Once again, this is a great example of VDOT’s teamwork and our engineering expertise that is recognized nationally, as well as our collaborative work with Virginia Tech.”

Since 2003, Virginia has received all three of its IBRC candidate projects, amounting to more than $1 million each year, more than any other state. In the last round of IBRC grants, VDOT received $1.2 million to work on two projects on U.S. 58 in Scott County and one in Fauquier County at U.S. 15, 17 and 29.

The Virginia Transportation Research Council is a partnership of VDOT and the University of Virginia and is located on the college’s grounds in Charlottesville.

For more information, visit

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