Barnhart was hired to replace six bridge sections on I-95 in Warwick, Rhode Island. The busy interstate carries over 174,000 cars and trucks a day.
To minimize disruption, the DOT used a different, quicker method – a design-build rapid replacement approach. The new sections of the bridge had been built off the sides of the interstate over the past year. Once they were complete, interstate traffic was rerouted and shifted for the duration of the project.
The old bridge was demolished to make room for the new sections. That’s when Barnhart went to work. The three new northbound sections and three southbound sections had to be moved into place. Each section weighed over 500 tons.
The Barnhart team mobilized equipment including two 16-line PSTe series trailers, 5’ Marino Girders, (2) 40’ long and (2) 100’ long girders along with assorted wood crane mats and cribbing. The self-propelled transporters were then driven under the bridge, hardwood shim stacks were added and the bridge sections were lifted into place.
For Barnhart, the challenges of the project included an accelerated schedule, bridge weights in excess of one million pounds, tight working quarters, offset CG’s on the sections, and tight tolerances.
While both motorists and the crew had to work around traffic disruptions, the project took just eight days. The conventional piecemeal demolition and construction method would tie up traffic for months, according a DOT spokeswoman.
Working two shifts, Barnhart installed the northbound bridges in just three days and the southbound in four days.