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Rapid Removal and Replacement of the 4500 South Bridge over I-215 in Salt Lake City

Technology Transfer

By executing a precise, well-coordinated plan, UDOT successfully removed and replaced the 4500 South Bridge in Salt Lake City during one weekend. UDOT proved that ABC is a cost-effective solution, even for structures with challenging geometric constraints. To accelerate nationwide adoption of this proven innovation, a team of representatives from UDOT and FHWA's Utah Division and HfL team developed and implemented a technology transfer plan that included a showcase with a workshop and field demonstration. The showcase was held during the weekend the bridge superstructure was moved into place by SPMT. It began with a Saturday field visit attended by representatives of UDOT and 14 other State DOTs, FHWA, other government agencies and industry.

On Saturday morning, participants observed the new prefabricated bridge superstructure located near the existing bridge. In addition, they witnessed the SPMT lifting and moving the existing two-span superstructure of the 4500 South Bridge to a demolition area alongside I-215. It took the SPMT two trips (one for each span) to complete the removal of the superstructure. The remaining time on Saturday was spent removing the rubblized materials and preparing the abutments for placement of the new superstructure on Sunday morning. At 1 p.m. Saturday, the workshop portion of the showcase began at a nearby location (see workshop agenda in Appendix B). About 150 participants attended the workshop, which consisted of presentations on the design, construction, removal, and replacement of the bridge by representatives of UDOT, FHWA, the design consultant, and the contractor (see Figures 34 and 35).

Workshop participants

Figure 34. Workshop participants.

UDOT Executive Director John Njord and the Associate Administrator of FHWA's Office of Infrastructure, King Gee, opened the meeting with comments on their strong support for the project and for implementing innovation in the highway community in general. The participants were provided with an overview of the Highways for LIFE program and national perspectives on the use of ABC techniques. Jim McMinimee of UDOT presented an overview of the design and ABC elements of the 4500 South Bridge and elaborated on UDOT's plan to use this technology on 13 other bridges on I-80 during the 2008 construction season.

Workshop presenters.

Figure 35. Workshop presenters.

Shana Lindsey, Director of Bridge Operations and Research at UDOT moderated the workshop. She talked about the research elements of the project. Kip Wadsworth of Ralph Wadsworth Construction and Bill Halsband of Mammoet discussed construction phasing, innovative features and overall challenges of the project. During a question-and-answer session, participants asked the expert panel questions on all aspects of the project.

On Sunday morning, an SPMT was used to lift and move the new superstructure to its final destination. In addition to showcase participants, many members of the public and representatives from local and national news outlets witnessed the bridge move.

UDOT considered the removal and replacement of the 4500 South Bridge using ABC techniques a great success. By using an SPMT, UDOT was able to remove and replace the 4500 South Bridge in one weekend, reducing construction time, minimizing inconvenience to the traveling public, and improving worker and motorist safety while maintaining normal traffic flow. UDOT undertook an aggressive, comprehensive effort to communicate with residents and businesses near the bridge, keeping them abreast of activities during pre- and postconstruction phases of the project. A user satisfaction survey clearly demonstrated the satisfaction of the neighboring residents and businesses with the project approach and final product.

The workshop was also a tremendous success. Participants from 14 State DOTs took the ABC and SPMT concepts, along with firsthand experience of a successful project, back to their States. The Oregon DOT, for example, used what its workshop participants learned on the UDOT project and applied it their bridge program. In addition, UDOT's project participants received public credit for producing this successful project, inspiring them to similar achievements on upcoming ABC projects in the State.

Shana Lindsey summed up the success of the workshop in her words as follows:

"Highways for LIFE was not only able to provide the seed money for the implementation of a new technology in our bridge project, but was also able to assist with the sharing of the technology. The workshop made it possible for many of the surrounding states and many UDOT employees to see the project firsthand. Subsequently, the interest and confidence created by this successful project and workshop helped UDOT construct 12 more ABC projects in 2008. Further, a number of the represented adjacent states asked us to come to their home offices with more detailed follow-up presentations to help them implement ABC in their states."

After the project was completed, UDOT and the HfL program undertook several technology transfer efforts to promote the project's successes and lessons learned and to establish further course of action with regard to ABC. These included the following:

  • The 4500 South Bridge was featured prominently in HfL's display booth at major conferences including the Transportation Research Board (TRB) Annual Meeting held in Washington, DC, in January 2008 and 2009 and the International Bridge Conference held in Pittsuburgh, Pennsylvania in June 2008.
  • HfL has co-sponsored the first ABC workshop hosted by UDOT titled "Accelerated Bridge Construction Standards." The workshop was held in Salt Lake City, Utah and more than 80 people, many of whom were national authorities on bridge and highway construction, attended it. This workshop was dedicated to making ABC the norm for bridge project delivery in Utah by the year 2010.
  • HfL has sponsored the development of a prefabricated bridge element system (PBES) toolkit DVD as well as the PBES connection details manual.
  • The 4500 South project was presented and discussed in technical sessions and working committee meetings of the TRB, American Concrete Institute, and individual state highway agencies.

Mr. Walter Waidelich Jr., Utah division administrator for the Federal Highway Administration, was quoted in an AASHTO news article as saying "UDOT's enthusiasm and willingness to openly share experiences has helped advance [accelerated bridge construction] technology nationally." "This was a truly proud moment for UDOT, and I believe a turning point perhaps in public awareness of this technology and expectations for project delivery in the future."

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Mary Huie
Center for Accelerating Innovation

This page last modified on 04/04/11

United States Department of Transportation - Federal Highway Administration