September 25, 2013
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.
November 30, 2012
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.”
September 14, 2012
BIM is being used to construct the West 7th Street Bridge project in Fort Worth, Texas, as shown above. Sundt is a recognized expert in applying BIM to horizontal construction projects, a process known as Virtual Design and Construction, or VDC.
Building complex, difficult projects is one thing. Communicating plans for those projects so that owners can visualize and understand them ahead of time is its own challenge – particularly when it comes to heavy civil construction such as roads, bridges, rail and other infrastructure.
Sundt is using building information modeling (BIM), a standard construction technology, in novel ways to solve this problem. By utilizing BIM as a communication tool during the proposal process, we have distinguished ourselves as an industry leader when it comes to innovation and creativity. The Sellwood Bridge project in Portland, Ore., is a great example of the innovative use of BIM in action.
This brief video, created by Autodesk (makers of 3D design software for the engineering, design and construction industries), explains how Sundt is pushing the capabilities of BIM beyond its original purpose.
The Sellwood Bridge project in Portland, Ore. The photo shows a view of the new location for the relocated truss (detour) bridge, looking east. Most of the structural steel for the new bridge columns has been constructed in the Willamette River. The bridge is scheduled to be moved early next year.
Sundt utilizes a variety of delivery methods to build projects for our diverse group of public and private sector clients. One of these – Construction Manager General Contractor, or CMGC – is particularly good at bringing team members together early in order to maximize teamwork. Early collaboration means better outcomes for clients and end users.
“CMGC is a highly collaborative process involving the owner, contractor and designer,” said Sundt Senior Vice President Jeff Williamson. “Early contractor involvement optimizes the design, which ultimately significantly reduces or eliminates future changes. The same process can be utilized to effectively manage schedule and environmental issues.”
Sundt and joint venture partner Slayden Construction are currently using CMGC on the reconstruction of the 2,000-foot-long Sellwood Bridge in Portland, Ore. The $160 million project involves moving the existing bridge deck and truss aside with hydraulic jacks, then placing it on a set of temporary piers and connecting it to temporary approach spans so that traffic can continue to use it while the new bridge is constructed.
“This project is incredibly complex and would no doubt be much more difficult using a traditional design-bid-build approach,” said Steve Schmitt, Heavy Civil Area Manager for Sundt. “One of the owner’s goals is to maintain traffic in the corridor during the reconstruction of the bridge and the adjacent traffic interchange. The design team and Slayden/Sundt each had ideas on how this would work with respect to the phasing of traffic, minimizing the construction footprint, and also minimizing the cost of temporary pavement or detours.
“The project is especially confined, as it is sandwiched between the Willamette River, a cemetery and challenging topography. In the collaborative environment fostered by CMGC, we were able to develop a plan that maximizes the production efficiency, maintains traffic, and limits the need for temporary pavement. In short: CMGC is playing a major role in helping us deliver a better product to the bridge’s end users.”