THE CONCRETE BRIDGE MAGAZINE

WINTER 2010

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.

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The Matagorda Peninsula in Texas is a largely undeveloped, 60-mile-long stretch of barrier islands known for its fishing, beautiful beaches, and cattle ranching. Only one of the two islands comprising the peninsula is accessible by vehicle. Formerly, that access was by a single, floating swing bridge across the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway at Matagorda. The bridge is used by vacationers and a few year-round inhabitants. Interestingly, ranchers owning property on both the mainland and island, also use it to drive their herds to the island for winter grazing. The swing bridge was a retrofitted barge that opened using a cable and pivot to allow both commercial and recreational vessels to pass. It required frequent maintenance and operators on duty around the clock. After considering the operating costs of approximately $350,000 per year and time delays for inhabitants and emergency vehicles, a decision was made to replace the bridge with a tall, fixed structure. A new, visually unique bridge replaced the floating swing bridge. The new bridge was required to provide 73 ft of vertical profile GULF INTRACOASTAL WATERWAY BRIDGE / MATAGORDA, TEXAS ENGINEER: Texas Department of Transportation Bridge Division, Austin, Tex. CONSTRUCTION ENGINEERS: Summit Engineering Group Inc., Littleton, Colo., and Frank W. Neal & Associates, Ft. Worth, Tex. PRIME CONTRACTOR: Midwest Foundation Corporation, Tremont, Ill. CONCRETE SUPPLIER: Alamo Concrete Products Ltd., Bay City, Tex. PRECASTER: Texas Concrete Company, Victoria, Tex. SEGMENTAL FORMWORk SUPPLIER: Mexpresa, Mexico City, Mexico by Dean Van Landuyt, Texas Department of Transportation The Gulf Intracoastal Waterway Bridge at Matagorda, texas Cattle drive across the previous floating swing bridge at Matagorda, Tex. Photo: Keith Dornak, TxDOT. A three-span segmental box girder bridge was used at the waterway. Photo: Dean Van Landuyt, TxDOT. Combining superstructure types provides economical solution A new, visually unique bridge replaced the floating swing bridge. 20 | ASPIRE , Winter 2010 ASPIRE_Winter10.indb 20 12/18/09 2:17:34 PM

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