April 2, 2014
January 6, 2014
Bridge builders large and small worked out their design ideas with newspaper, tape … and lots of patience and creativity.
What’s it like to design and construct a landmark bridge? How does teamwork affect the process of bridge construction? Employees from Sundt and Slayden Construction recently used a fun, hands-on approach to help a group of first graders at Faubion Elementary School in Portland, Ore., explore that question. Slayden/Sundt is the joint venture team reconstructing Portland’s Sellwood Bridge for Multnomah County – a $213 million transportation construction project that will improve safety and traffic flow over the Willamette River.
The professional engineers and young engineers-in-training spent several hours brainstorming design ideas for a model bridge constructed of newspaper, constructing prototypes, and then testing them for success with toy vehicles. Their design ideas (some successful, some less so) included tunnels, triple-decker lanes, corkscrew spiral on-ramps, trampoline bridges, bird nesting nooks, murals, long slides, snack dispensers, and swimming pools. Many hours, glue sticks and stacks of newspaper later, the kids (and probably a few adults, too) had learned a lot about construction and the value and challenges of working with others.
“Multnomah County’s School-based Outreach Program is a not only a great way for students to learn about the Sellwood Bridge project; it also gives the kids a glimpse into possible future career paths or areas of study,” said Matt Fisher, Sundt Project Engineer. “I was quite surprised at the enthusiasm and engagement of the first graders – they had a lot of fun and came up with some interesting and fairly sturdy bridge designs!”
Designed as an open-spandrel steel arch structure, the new Sellwood Bridge will complement its surroundings while providing ample space for all modes of travel. It will have two vehicle lanes in each direction on the west end (which narrow to one lane in each direction on the east end), two six-foot-wide bike lanes, and two 12-foot-wide sidewalks for pedestrians.
The team is using an innovative “shoofly” (detour) approach to complete the challenging project while reducing costs and minimizing disruptions to travelers. It involves lifting the old bridge deck and truss with hydraulic jacks and moving it off to one side, placing it on a set of temporary piers, and connecting it to temporary approach spans so traffic can continue to use it while the new bridge is constructed. The bridge translation was successfully completed in January of 2013 (more info here). The entire project will be complete in 2016.
To see a time-lapse video of the bridge translation click here.
September 25, 2013
Sophisticated software was used to model and plan the bridge slide.
Sundt is using innovative technology to help build challenging projects – projects that are key to solving the nation’s infrastructure crisis. Take the 87-year-old Sellwood Bridge in Portland, Ore., for example, which Sundt is reconstructing with joint venture partner Slayden Construction.
As shown in this short video, the team used 3D virtual construction and Building Information Modeling software to develop and communicate a bold idea: that a 1,100-foot-long segment of the failing bridge could be lifted and moved aside onto temporary piers while the new bridge is constructed in its place. The technology was used to present the idea to the client, Multnomah County, and ultimately win the job for three good reasons: it will shorten the construction time, save money, and keep the bridge open during construction.
“Beyond using the model to create short animations, Slayden/Sundt is also using mobile technology to put the 3D model on mobile devices available to field crews,” said Eric Cylwik, Sundt Senior Virtual Construction Engineer. “This affords crews the ability to review detailed models to ensure proper communication.”
Slayden/Sundt is replacing the aging Sellwood Bridge with a two-deck, steel arched bridge that will improve safety and traffic flow over the Willamette River. The new bridge will have two vehicle lanes in each direction on the west end, which narrow to one lane in each direction on the east end. In addition, it will have two, six-foot-wide bike lanes and two, 12-foot-wide sidewalks.
The $210 million, heavy civil construction project is scheduled for completion in November 2016.
July 8, 2013
The rebar cage that Slayden/Sundt will use to set the shaft before placing concrete around it. The cage is 220 feet long and weighs approximately 175,000 pounds.
The summer and early fall have been busy for Slayden/Sundt as the joint venture reconstructs the 2,000-foot-long Sellwood Bridge in Portland, Ore. The team has been focused on constructing the in-water piers that will support the three new spans over the Willamette River. Each pier consists of four drilled shafts that are 10 feet in diameter and up to 176 feet below the river bottom (the river is approximately 30 feet deep).
Environmental permitting constraints have left the team with a tight window to complete the drilled shafts and construct/install the perched boxes around the concrete columns. The perched box caissons will allow crews to complete the construction of the piers over the next nine months. They will be installed with cranes and pile drivers above water, and by divers below the water. Building Information Modeling (BIM) is being used to pre-plan the work thoroughly for maximum efficiency and safety.
BIM is being used to plan the construction of the perched box caissons.
The $207 million, heavy civil construction project involves replacing the aging Sellwood Bridge with an open steel deck arch structure. The project team is using an innovative “shoofly” (detour) approach to complete this complex project, which is explained here. This short video shows the successful bridge slide that took place last January.
January 23, 2013
This aerial view of the project shows the east and west work bridges, the temporary structures that will facilitate construction of the main structure across the Willamette River.
Now that the old Sellwood Bridge in Portland, Ore., has been successfully relocated (see details), Sundt and joint venture partner Slayden Construction are hard at work constructing the new bridge, which is scheduled to be open in mid-2016. The team is close to completing the construction of the east and west work bridges – temporary structures that will facilitate bridge construction across the Willamette River.
Crews are also performing and preparing for the work that can only occur during the allowed “in water work window.” Those activities include: removing the existing concrete piers, driving pile at the bent locations/installing perched box caissons and constructing drilled shafts. (The drilled shafts at these locations are 10 feet in diameter and approximately 160 feet long.)
Crews are currently removing the existing concrete bridge piers in the Willamette River. The section shown in the photo weighs over 100,000 pounds.
At the same time, construction is progressing on another critical path activity: the retaining walls located on the west side of the project. The walls must be complete before traffic can be moved to allow the construction of the northeast and southeast approach ramps.
Reconstruction of the 87-year-old Sellwood Bridge is being performed using an innovative “shoofly” approach that is expected to save approximately $5 to $10 million in construction costs and cut about a year off the schedule.
The 1,100-foot-long steel bridge truss was moved last Saturday during a 12-hour operation. It is approximately 25 feet high, weighs about 3,400 tons and had to be moved 33 feet on one end and 66 feet on the other.
If you were anywhere near the Sellwood Bridge in Portland, Ore., last Saturday, you would have seen an amazing sight. A 1,100-foot-section of the existing bridge deck and truss was lifted with hydraulic jacks, moved aside and set onto temporary support piers to make way for construction of a new bridge. The move created what is known as a “shoofly,” or detour bridge, which will keep traffic flowing over the Willamette River as crews build the new structure to take its place.
Reconstruction of the 87-year-old Sellwood Bridge is being performed by Sundt and joint venture partner Slayden Construction. The team’s innovative approach to the project is expected to save about $5 to $10 million in construction costs and cut about a year off the schedule.
Bridge construction is notoriously challenging, but even so, last Saturday’s “bridge slide” was considered a highly complex operation.
“This was one of the longest bridge sections ever to be moved,” said Sundt Area Manager Ted Aadland. “That, plus its age, made it very difficult. The site itself also presents a number of challenges. The project is tightly confined, being sandwiched between the Willamette River, a cemetery and difficult topography. The Slayden/Sundt Joint Venture Team has worked hard to come up with solutions that minimize traffic impacts, and so far I think we’ve been very successful.”