ASPIRE is a quarterly magazine published by PCI in cooperation with the associations of the National Concrete Bridge Council. The editorial content focuses on the latest technology and key issues in the Concrete Bridge Industry.
Issue link: http://www.aspiremagazinebyengineers.com/i/296646
36 | ASPIRE , Winter 2014 CBP Concrete Bridge Preservation Restoring a Vital Link in Rhode Island by Bharat Patel, Vanasse Hangen Brustlin Inc. On October 24, 2012, the rehabilitated Stillwater Viaduct Bridge, spanning the Woonasquatucket River in Smithfeld, R.I., reopened for traffc approximately fve weeks ahead of schedule. This important transportation link for in-town traffc and people traveling along the George Washington Highway will help boost local businesses and future economic development, and is a critical investment in Rhode Island's infrastructure. The 80-year-old Stillwater Viaduct Bridge—at 450 ft long with 11 spans, including huge concrete arches over the water—carries approximately 8700 vehicles daily along Route 116 crossing the Stillwater Reservoir. The existing superstructure, because of its severely deteriorated condition and structural integrity, was replaced as part of Rhode Island's Comprehensive Bridge Improvement Program. The structure was replaced with a bridge of the same width with sidewalks through a $9.4 million contract. To expedite the process, Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) chose to close the bridge to traffc during construction, and used precast concrete components where possible. The replacement of the bridge superstructure is an excellent example of how good planning, local-state cooperation, and effcient construction techniques, result in successful completion of a project under budget and ahead of schedule. The two‐lane bridge is an open spandrel, reinforced concrete, three-ribbed arch spanning 80 ft. The concrete approach spans vary in length and are supported on 10 concrete column bents consisting of three square columns. In lieu of constructing the bridge in phases over three-years, RIDOT chose to close the bridge to traffc during construction. By using precast concrete elements, the bridge was substantially completed in only seven months. Due to its classic design and age, the Stillwater Viaduct Bridge is eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places for its historical association with the massive bridge building campaign, and for serving as an important local example of an open spandrel arch bridge. The existing, deteriorating superstructure was replaced with precast concrete stringers, pier caps, foor beams (at the arch span), fascia beams with cantilevered brackets, spandrel beams (at the arch span), and decorative bridge rail with spindles. The bridge deck is 8-in.-thick, cast-in-place concrete with a waterproofng membrane covered by a 3-in.-thick asphalt overlay. The new bridge incorporates all the historical elements of the originally constructed bridge. The rehabilitated structure increases load capacity and lifespan of the bridge, and reduces the number of expansion joints over the arch span. In addition to making the bridge safer for vehicles, it is now open to pedestrians for the frst time in years. Its long-closed and crumbling sidewalks have been restored and are protected from traffc by steel rails. The new Stillwater Viaduct Bridge improves the daily lives of Rhode Island commuters and the accelerated schedule has been very well received. This rehabilitation project can serve as an example to the industry of how community involvement and innovation can contribute to successful bridge rehabilitation projects. _________ Bharat Patel is managing director of transportation engineering with Vanasse Hangen Brustlin Inc. in Providence, R.I. CBP CONCRETE BRIDGE PRESERVATION Underside view of the rehabilitated Stillwater Viaduct Bridge. Photo: Vanasse Hangen Brustlin Inc. Aerial view of Stillwater Viaduct Bridge. Photo: Mark Flannary Photography. AspireBook_Win14.indb 36 12/10/13 12:54 PM