Our favorite projects are the ones that involve challenges – projects requiring innovation, experience, and vision. Indeed, our work on the IL 115 over Gar Creek Bridge in Kankakee, IL is one of Milhouse’s favorite projects.
The Illinois Department of Transportation’s (IDOT), District 3, IL 115 over Gar Creek Bridge was in critical condition. It required special inspections every six months to monitor the deterioration of its concrete deck beams. The bridge was also posted “Legal Loads Only,” restricting overload vehicles from using the route. Ready and willing, Milhouse accepted the challenge, and developed a solution to repair the bridge in just 72 hours.
The strategy involved replacing the bridge with a single span rolled beam structure on integral abutments. Utilizing the Accelerated Bridge Construction (ABC) slide-in method, Milhouse provided detailed plans and specifications for the superstructure’s installation. “This was IDOT’s fastest ABC highway bridge rehabilitation, and I am excited that we (Milhouse) got to complete it,” stated Stan-Lee Kaderbek, PE, Vice President of Civil and Transportation.
“The overarching challenge to this project was providing detailed plans and specifications for the slide-in of the superstructure,” said Deborah Zroka, PE, Section Manager of Structural Design for Milhouse. Our team developed a step-by-step slide-in method and schedule for the contractor’s use.
The clever plan involved developing a roller guide system, which allowed the new superstructure to be rolled from its temporary bent supports to the new abutment caps for final placement. Hydraulic-driven rollers were then placed beneath each girder. Lastly, vertical hydraulic jacks were integrated into the roller system to allow the superstructure to be raised for the slide-in, and then lowered into final position atop the abutment bearing seat.
In conjunction with the slide-in method, our team utilized other ABC components, such as precast abutment caps and wingwalls, precast approach slabs, and high strength quick curing grout. Temporary supports were also designed for the temporary location of the new superstructure.
Innovation, resourcefulness, and precision is what made this project a success. The replacement of IL 115 over Gar Creek Bridge allows for smoother traffic flow and a safer commute for everyday drivers.
Watch the 72 hour time-lapse video of the complete bridge installation here.
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