Skip to contentUnited States Department of Transportation - Federal Highway AdministrationSearch FHWAFeedback
Highways for LIFE

Arrow Vermont Demonstration Project: Route 2 – East Montpelier Bridge Reconstruction

Printable version of this report (.pdf, 2.3 mb)

Draft Final Report July 2012

Table of Contents

Screen shot: Vermont Demonstration Project: Route 2 – East Montpelier Bridge Reconstruction Cover
Figure 1. General project location.
Figure 2. The functionally obsolete existing structure
Figure 3. Deteriorated bridge deck
Figure 4. Scour protection at the existing structure
Figure 5. Detour route for option 1
Figure 6. Phase I construction
Figure 7. Phase II construction
Figure 8. Temporary bridge with conventional structure, option 3
Figure 9. Bridge elevation, option 3.
Figure 10. Failed membrane and pavement condition.
Figure 11. Failed deck joint condition.
Figure 12. Salt-laden runoff at curb. 15
Figure 13. Corroded bearing condition.
Figure 14. Failed paint system condition
Figure 15. Conventional construction detail showing deck membrane and curb mounted rail system.
Figure 16. Construction detail of innovative bare deck design with flush-mounted rail.
Figure 17. Construction of two-way temporary bypass bridge
Figure 18. Demolition of the existing bridget
Figure 19. Placement of weathering steel girders
Figure 20. Condition of stainless steel rebar upon arrival
Figure 21. Close-up of stainless steel rebar condition
Figure 22. Curved condition of stainless steel rebar
Figure 23. Stainless steel reinforcing bars prior to placement
Figure 24. View of deck reinforcement
Figure 25. Close-up of deck reinforcement
Figure 26. Anchor bolt assembly detail
Figure 27. View of the new, wider bridge
Figure 28. View of the completed bridge
Figure 29. Roadside view of the completed bridge.
Figure 30. First work zone warning.
Figure 31. Intersection of VT 14 and US 2.
Figure 32. OBSI dual probe system and the SRTT.
Figure 33. Mean A-weighted SI frequency spectra.
Figure 34. High-speed inertial profiler mounted behind the test vehicle.
Figure 35. Mean IRI values.
Figure 36. User survey form.
Table 1. User satisfaction survey results.
Abbreviations and Symbols
AASHTO American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials
ACI American Concrete Institute
ADT average daily traffic
ADTT  annual daily truck traffic
dB(A) A-weighted decibel
DHV  design hourly volume
DOT department of transportation
FHWA Federal Highway Administration
HfL Highways for LIFE
HPC high performance concrete
HPS high performance steel
Hz hertz
IRI International Roughness Index
LRFD Load and Resistance Factor Design
NHS National Highway System
OBSI onboard sound intensity
OSHA Occupational Safety and Health Administration
SAFETEA-LU Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users
SAVER Safety Analysis, Visualization, and Exploration Resource
SCC self-consolidating concrete
SHRP 2 Strategic Highway Research Program
SI sound intensity
SRTT standard reference test tire
TRB Transportation Research Board
VTrans Vermont Agency of Transportation


The purpose of the Highways for LIFE (HfL) pilot program is to accelerate the use of innovations that improve highway safety and quality while reducing congestion caused by construction. LIFE is an acronym for Longer-lasting highway infrastructure using Innovations to accomplish the Fast construction of Efficient and safe highways and bridges.

Specifically, HfL focuses on speeding up the widespread adoption of proven innovations in the highway community. Such “innovations” encompass technologies, materials, tools, equipment, procedures, specifications, methodologies, processes, and practices used to finance, design, or construct highways. HfL is based on the recognition that innovations are available that, if widely and rapidly implemented, would result in significant benefits to road users and highway agencies.

Although innovations themselves are important, HfL is as much about changing the highway community’s culture from one that considers innovation something that only adds to the workload, delays projects, raises costs, or increases risk to one that sees it as an opportunity to provide better highway transportation service. HfL is also an effort to change the way highway community decisionmakers and participants perceive their jobs and the service they provide.

The HfL pilot program, described in Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) Section 1502, includes funding for demonstration construction projects. By providing incentives for projects, HfL promotes improvements in safety, construction-related congestion, and quality that can be achieved through the use of performance goals and innovations. This report documents one such HfL demonstration project.

Additional information on the HfL program is at


This document is disseminated under the sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Transportation in the interest of information exchange. The U.S. Government assumes no liability for its contents or use thereof. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation.

The U.S. Government does not endorse products or manufacturers. Trade and manufacturers’ names appear in this report only because they are considered essential to the object of the document.

1. Report No. 2. Government Accession No. 3. Recipient's Catalog No.
4. Title and Subtitle
Vermont Demonstration Project: Route 2 – East Montpelier Bridge Reconstruction
5. Report Date
July 2011
6. Performing Organization Code
7. Author(s)
Amar Bhajandas and Jagannath Mallela
8. Performing Organization Report No.
9. Performing Organization Name and Address
Office of Infrastructure
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
10. Work Unit No.(TRAIS) C6B
11. Contract or Grant No.
12. Sponsoring Agency Name and Address
Office of Infrastructure
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590

13. Type of Report and Period Covered

Final Report

June 2009–July 2011

14. Sponsoring Agency Code
15. Supplementary Notes
Contracting Officers Technical Representatives: Byron Lord, Mary Huie
16. Abstract

As part of a national initiative sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration under the Highways for LIFE program, the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) was awarded a $540,000 grant to demonstrate the use of proven, innovative technologies to build a high-quality bridge with state-of-the-art design and materials that will last longer than conventional construction.

The structure is located on the National Highway System in rural East Montpelier, VT, on US Route 2 over the Winooski River, approximately 1 mile east of the intersection of US Route 2 and VT Route 14. The replacement structure is a single span integral abutment bridge with weathering steel girders, bare high performance concrete deck reinforced with solid stainless steel, topped with a curbless, pedestal mounted rail. With no joints that can fall into disrepair and leak, no curbs that retain salt-laden runoff and accelerate deck deterioration, no bearings that can corrode and freeze, and no beam paint system that can fail, the project accomplished its goal of designing and building a structure that is reduced to its most basic components, incorporates durable materials, is virtually maintenance free, and has lower life cycle costs than a conventional structure. With wider lanes and ample shoulder widths, the new bridge addresses safety concerns over numerous collisions and "near misses" at the site and easily will accommodate the truck traffic on this National Highway System highway.

VTrans minimized construction congestion and time and worker exposure to traffic through construction of a two-way detour bridge adjacent to the site, which enabled the Agency to complete the project in one season instead of two. A comprehensive economic analysis including the anticipated long-term maintenance costs shows that the project saved $932,800 (or 47 percent compared to traditional methods). The project saved money and demonstrates that the HfL program concepts apply not only to large, complex bridge projects, but also to smaller, rural bridge projects.

17. Key Words
Accelerated bridge xonstruction, curbless pedestal mounted rail, high performance concrete, Highways for LIFE, integral abutment, maintenance friendly, solid stainless steel reinforcement
18. Distribution Statement

No restriction. This document is available to the public through the Highways for LIFE website:

19. Security Classif. (of this page)
20. No. of Pages
21. Price

Form DOT F 1700.7 (8–72) Reproduction of completed page authorized

Symbol When You Know Multiply By To Find Symbol Symbol When You Know Multiply By To Find Symbol
(none) mil 25.4 micrometers μm μm micrometers 0.039 mil (none)
in inches 25.4 millimeters mm mm millimeters 0.039 inches in
ft feet 0.305 meters m m meters 3.28 feet ft
yd yards 0.914 meters m m meters 1.09 yards yd
mi miles 1.61 kilometers km km kilometers 0.621 miles mi
in2 square inches 645.2 square millimeters mm2 mm2 square millimeters 0.0016 square inches in2
ft2 square feet 0.093 square meters m2 m2 square meters 10.764 square feet ft2
yd2 square yards 0.836 square meters m2 m2 square meters 1.195 square yards ac
ac acres 0.405 hectares ha ha hectares 2.47 acres mi2
mi2 square miles 2.59 square kilometers km2 km2 square kilometers 0.386 square miles
fl oz fluid ounces 29.57 milliliters ml ml milliliters 0.034 fluid ounces fl oz
gal gallons 3.785 liters l l liters 0.264 gallons gal
ft3 cubic feet 0.028 cubic meters m3 m3 cubic meters 35.71 cubic feet ft3
yd3 cubic yards 0.765 cubic meters m3 m3 cubic meters 1.307 cubic yard yd3
NOTE: Volumes greater than 1000 l shall be shown in m3
oz ounces 28.35 grams g g grams 0.035 ounces oz
lb pounds 0.454 kilograms kg kg kilograms 2.202 pounds lb
T short tons (2000 lb) 0.907 megagrams Mg Mg megagrams 1.103 short tons (2000 lb) T
TEMPERATURE (exact degrees) TEMPERATURE (exact degrees)
°F Fahrenheit 5(F–32)/9 or (F–32)/1.8 Celcius °C °C Celsius 1.8C +32 Fahrenheit °F
fc foot–candles 10.76 lux l lx lux 0.0929 foot–candles fc
fl foot–Lamberts 3.426 candela/m2 cd/m2 cd/m2 candela/m2 0.2919 foot–Lamberts fl
lbf pounds 4.45 newtons N N newtons 0.225 poundforce lbf
lbf/in2 (psi) pound per square inch 6.89 kilopascals kPa kPa kilopascals 0.145 poundforce per square inch lbf/in2(psi)
k/in2 ksi klps per square inch 6.89 megaPascals mPa MPa megaPascals 0.145 klps per square inch k/in2(ips)
ib/ft2(pcf) pounds per cubic foot 16.02 kilograms per cubic meter kg/m3 kg/m3 pounds per cubic foot 0.062 kilograms per cubic meter ib/ft3(pcf)

*SI is the symbol for the International System of Units. Appropriate rounding should be made to comply with Section 4 of ASTM E380. (Revised March 2003)


The project team would like to acknowledge the invaluable insights and guidance of the Federal Highway Administration Highways for LIFE Team Leader (Mr. Byron Lord) and Program Coordinators Ms. Mary Huie and Ms. Kathleen Bergeron, who served as the Technical Panel on this demonstration project. Their vast knowledge and experience with the various aspects of construction, technology deployment, and technology transfer helped immensely in developing both the approach and the technical matter for this document. The team also is indebted to the Vermont Agency of Transportation engineers Mr. Wayne Symonds, Ms. Kristin Higgins, Mr. Jim LaCroix, and Mr. Chris Jolly for the tireless advice, assistance, and coordination they provided in the conduct of this project. Project designer Mr. LaCroix provided the very helpful project-related information included in this document. The project team also is grateful to the FHWA Division Office, and particularly to Mr. Mark Richter for all the support received.

PDF files can be viewed with the Acrobat® Reader®

More Information



Mary Huie
Center for Accelerating Innovation

Updated: 05/20/2013

United States Department of Transportation - Federal Highway Administration