THE CONCRETE BRIDGE MAGAZINE

FALL 2007

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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34 | ASPIRE , Fall 2007 In 1926, the town of Elizabethton, in Carter County, Tennessee, proudly cut the ribbon to open a newly completed concrete bridge, the Elk Avenue Bridge over the Doe River, just downstream from its only other river crossing, a covered timber bridge, built in 1882. The beautifully ornate bridge has stood just off the town square for over 80 years, surrounded by buildings dating from the 1700s to the 1930s. By the late 1990s, the bridge had begun to suffer the affects of its age and lack of maintenance. It was required to be weight restricted and subsequently became a candidate for replacement under the Federal Highway R e h a b i l i t a t i o n a n d R e p l a c e m e n t Program. However, during discussions with the local government and citizens, it became apparent that there was a strong desire to save this treasure. The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) agreed. The Elk Avenue Bridge is a classic example of a reinforced concrete f i x e d a rc h d e s i g n d e v e l o p e d b y Daniel B. Luten, a 1894 graduate in Civil Engineering from the University of Michigan. Later, moving to Purdue University as an instructor, Luten was one of the leading United States proponents of using steel bar reinforcement in concrete arch construction in order to maximize structural efficiency and minimize cost. profile eLk avenue-Doe R IveR BRIDge / ElIzAbEtHton, tEnnESSEE EnginEEr: division of Structures, tennessee department of transportation primE ContraCtor: general Constructors, Elizabethton, tenn. ConCrEtE suppliEr: Summer-taylor Construction Company, Elizabethton, tenn. awards: Award of Excellence, PCA 2006 tenth biennial bridge Awards Competition Saving A Piece Of History by Edward P. Wasserman, Tennessee Department of Transportation As a result of its restoration, the bridge can now carry all legal loads. All photos: TDOT 10802_Aspire_Fall07.indb 34 8/30/07 3:02:02 PM

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