|Predicted increases in the number of trucks and axle loads on the roads will continue to degrade the roads more rapidly. Deterioration of the bridges is expected, but it can be monitored and controlled through properly funded maintenance, rehabilitation, and replacement activities. Proper funding and a continued focus on bridges, such as the Missouri Department of Transportation’s (MoDOT) Safe and Sound Bridge Improvement Program, is necessary to decrease the number of structurally deficient and functionally obsolete bridges in the country.
The innovative approach developed by KTU Constructors, a joint venture of Kiewit Western (a subsidiary of Kiewit Corporation), Traylor Brothers and United Contractors, along with HNTB Corporation and The LPA Group as design consultants provided MoDOT with a way to replace 554 of Missouri’s ailing bridges at an accelerated pace. The complexity resulted from 554 scattered bridge sites in ten different MoDOT districts (then existing) with distinct hydraulic, geotechnical and environmental characteristics required advanced planning, streamlined design and plan production process and strategic construction timelines. An average of 45 days is allotted per bridge for reconstruction including demolition of the existing bridge. In order to meet this aggressive design and construction schedule, the project team developed the following approach:
- Early evaluation of all 554 bridges
- Standardization of proposed bridge spans, widths and skews
- Incorporation of various designs and details used by other State Department of Transportation that would help accelerate design and construction process
- Minimization of construction duration through the utilization of concrete precast components for superstructure and pile bents for substructure
- Standardization of the superstructure and substructure design and detailing processes
- Development and utilization of standard plan sheets. As the first successful program of its kind in the United States, the Safe and Sound Bridge Improvement Program now serves as a model for alternative project delivery. Many states are watching the outcome of the program and considering its applicability in their own states. MoDOT has proven with this unique design-build program that it is possible to accomplish a statewide logistics project under extreme budget limitations and time constraints.