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Iowa Demonstration Project: Improvements to the 24th Street–I-29/80 Interchange in Council Bluffs
To promote the innovations—prefabricated bridge panels, high–performance materials, construction methods, and the bidding process—the Iowa DOT in conjunction with FHWA and the Utah Local Technical Assistance Program (LTAP) sponsored a 1–day showcase. The showcase was held September 25, 2008, at the nearby Mid–America Center in Council Bluffs, IA. The event featured presentations by representatives of FHWA, the Iowa DOT, and the contractor, followed by a field trip to the project site to observe the second phase of bridge construction. Participants were able to observe traffic using the completed first phase of the project (figure 21). Figure 22 shows participants discussing bridge details onsite.
Figure 21 . Phase one of the bridge construction open to traffic.
Figure 22 . Showcase participants examining the new bridge construction.
More than 20 people from the Iowa DOT, FHWA, local agencies, the construction industry, and academia attended the showcase. The Appendix contains the workshop agenda and speakers list. During the showcase, John Carns of the Iowa DOT provided opening comments. He explained the need to keep the 24th Street bridge open to traffic to accommodate the surrounding community and forgo alternate designs that would have involved completely closing the bridge during construction. Joe Jurasic of FHWA gave an overview of the HfL program detailing the performance goals for this project and how the project will advance the use of new technologies for future bridge construction.
Norm McDonald of the Iowa DOT discussed the HfL project application process and how the 24th Street bridge project was selected based on the Iowa DOT's willingness to embrace innovation to bring about a better way of building public sector projects. George Feazell of the Iowa DOT gave an overview of the HfL goals on safety, congestion, and quality as they applied to this project. Feazell detailed the long–range development plan of the region to facilitate local growth while improving the overall mobility and aesthetics of the transportation corridor. Technical features of the specific innovations were presented by James Nelson of the Iowa DOT. Nelson also addressed the need to allow adequate lead time to fabricate the innovative deck panels and to review each new technology before it is incorporated into design.
Robert Cramer, the president of the contracting firm, gave the contractor's perspective on construction of the project. He underscored the need for adequate planning and thinking outside of the box when it comes to scheduling and using new materials and techniques, such as full– depth deck panels and fully contained flooded backfill.