West 7th Street Bridge
Features & Highlights
- Features 12 precast, post-tensioned concrete arches
- Sundt had five months to remove existing bridge and build a new one in its place. Sundt accomplished this in 4 months
Reconstruction of the West 7th Street Bridge in Fort Worth, Texas improved pedestrian access and safety while creating a landmark gateway between the city’s downtown and cultural district. The new structure features four vehicle travel lanes, a center raised median and two 10-foot-wide pedestrian walkways. The bridge’s signature feature is its 12 precast, post-tensioned concrete arches that run the length of the structure. Each arch measures 24 feet tall by approximately 160 feet long and weighs 640,000 pounds. Approximately 300,000 pounds of polished stainless steel within the arches and bridge superstructure are illuminated at night with embedded lighting. This is the only bridge structure of its kind in the world.
Sundt employed a number of innovative approaches to minimize traffic closures during the 23-month project. Chief among them was the decision to construct the 12 concrete arches offsite (with Sundt’s own concrete construction crews) and then place them in pairs along either side of the old structure primarily at night. This approach allowed the bridge to remain open to traffic for the four months it took to build, post-tension several times and cure each arch. Once all of the arches were in place, the project team closed and demolished the old bridge and constructed the new one in its footprint.
The use of BIM models also helped keep the project, and the arches, on track. Because many structural and lighting elements are contained inside each arch, there were significant conflicts amongst these elements. The use of 3D modeling allowed the team to identify conflicts prior to construction, propose solutions and build the arches without delays to the field crews. In addition, the model aided our field team in identifying the appropriate sequence and placement of the interior bridge floor beams during construction.
Sundt completed the 980-foot long bridge for the Texas Department of Transportation a month ahead of a 5 month allowed shutdown schedule. It opened to traffic in October 2013 in time for the busy holiday travel season.
Awards & Accolades
- 2014 Concrete Bridge Award, Portland Cement Association
- 2015 Build America, Highway and Transportation, Associated General Contractors of America
- 2014 Best Project, Highway/Bridge, ENR Texas & Louisiana