July 1, 2014
May 19, 2014
NAME: Garhett Jurgens
WORKSITE: Sellwood Bridge – Portland, Oregon
MAJOR: Construction Management
SCHOOL: Colorado State University
What drew you to Sundt?
I saw an opportunity to get away from western Colorado and experience the atmosphere of a successful employee-owned company.
What does a typical day at Sundt look like for you?
It starts out every morning with a superintendent meeting, where everyone discusses what their game plan is for the day. After that, I usually get assigned work by one of the project engineers where I’ve helped with RFIs, quantity take-offs, surveying, and other areas where I can throw in a hand.
What have you learned through your Sundt internship about the real world of construction that surprised you?
I’ve never been involved with a project as intricate as the Sellwood Bridge. The amount of coordination that is required because of the complexity of the job baffles me.
How have you benefited by working with a mentor every day?
Not only have I gained a basic understanding of how a structure like the Sellwood Bridge is constructed, but I’ve learned a lot about how to make life enjoyable on a construction project. Yes, things can get stressful for the team, but they all seem like they embrace the pressure, and roll with the punches when things get hard. It is inspirational in a sense.
Best book read recently:
Black Hawk Down
App you couldn’t live without?
Probably my Fox News App. I’m always keeping up with what is going on in the world.
Favorite quote/inspirational saying?
“The only easy day was yesterday.” – The Navy SEALS
What advice would you give for the future interns of Sundt?
May 5, 2014
Members of the Sellwood Bridge project team placed 27 pre-stressed, precast concrete girders last week for the new bridge over the Willamette River. In this photo, Girder “9G5” is being hoisted into position on Span #9.
The Sellwood Bridge project in Portland, Oregon reached a major milestone last week. Sundt and joint venture partner Slayden Construction set 27 precast, pre-stressed concrete girders to support the future bridge, which will span the Willamette River and replace an old, outdated structure.
Each of the twenty girders erected between spans six through nine is approximately 105 feet long and weighs more than 37 tons. Seven, 30-foot-long slab girders (each weighing approximately 35 tons) were set over span 10, which has a different configuration than the other spans to allow the railroad tracks the pass beneath it without altering the profile of the roadway.
The bridge was closed for four days while the girders were delivered and moved into place with the help of two new cranes belonging to Sundt, along with assistance from a specialty crane subcontractor, Ness & Campbell. The bridge was reopened to traffic on Friday afternoon. (The girders for spans six through nine were set by Sundt’s Link-Belt HSL218 Crawler Crane, and the span 10 girders were set by our Link-Belt RTC8065 Hydro.)
Two cranes working in tandem to install a 67,000-pound precast, pre-stressed concrete girder on the east approach of the new Sellwood Bridge.
“Planning the lifting and installation of the girders was very complex,” said Sundt Project Engineer Matt Fisher. “Crane size, crane location, ground preparation, girder delivery proximity, and girder delivery sequence were investigated well in advance, and the crane positions and movements were planned to optimize the safety and efficiency of the girder installation operation. The delivery vehicles used a specialized trailer with remote-control rear-trailer steering that allowed the driver to steer the rear of the trailer around obstacles and through difficult turns. This was especially useful when the girders traveled through the old, narrow streets of the Portland’s Sellwood District on approach to the Sellwood Bridge.”
Designed as an open steel deck arch structure, the new Sellwood Bridge will complement its surroundings while providing ample space for all modes of travel. There will be 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 team is using a “shoofly” (detour) approach to complete the project, in which the old bridge deck and truss was lifted with hydraulic jacks and moved to one side, then placed on a set of temporary piers and connected to temporary approach spans so traffic can continue to use it while the new bridge is constructed.
The bridge construction project is scheduled to be complete in 2016.
April 2, 2014
Sundt and joint venture partner Slayden Construction are replacing the aging Sellwood Bridge over the Willamette River in Portland, Oregon. The existing bridge is nearly 90 years old and does not comply with current seismic standards. Photo courtesy of Image Engineering Photography.
Last week a group of experts came together on National Public Radio’s Diane Rehm Show to discuss the challenges posed by our nation’s aging infrastructure. With more than 60,000 bridges in the U.S. in a state of serious decline, the big question on everyone minds is how to pay for the necessary replacements and repairs.
Mike Hoover, Sundt’s Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, agrees with many transportation construction and policy experts: the creation of a highway reauthorization bill is critical. Federal funding supports more than half of states’ transportation construction, but the existing bill, MAP-21, expires on September 30. At the same time, the highway trust fund, which uses gas taxes to fund many federal highway programs in every state, will be depleted by the end of August if Congress doesn’t act.
What are the obstacles to the passage of a new bill? Can public-private partnerships provide a funding solution? Are there other creative funding mechanisms being proposed and considered? Click here to listen to the show to and find out what the panelists (listed below) and callers had to say.
Robert Puentes, senior fellow, Metropolitan Policy Program, The Brookings Institution
Chris Edwards, economist and editor of DownsizingGovernment.org, Cato Institute
Fawn Johnson, correspondent, National Journal
Phineas Baxandall, federal budget and tax analyst, U.S. Public Interest Research Group
Patrick Jones, executive director and CEO, International Bridge, Tunnel & Turnpike Association (IBTTA)
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.
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.