It’s no secret that America needs to make a serious investment to rehab its roads, bridges, stormwater and wastewater systems, levees, ports, dams and more. But sometimes major events such as weather create a need that didn’t exist the day before. Such was the case when flood waters shifted the foundations of the Tex Wash Bridge on Interstate 10 in California and caused a partial collapse. The California Department of Transportation knew that once the issue was discovered, a quick solution was of vital importance. The bridge is part of a path between Arizona and California, so time was of the essence. To achieve a two-month timeline, Caltrans turned to accelerated bridge construction and precast concrete.
“Interstate 10 is a major goods movement artery and a critical lifeline for residents in the desert,” said Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty. “Caltrans has restored roads severely affected by the harsh force of nature before, and we will do it again. This is what we do best.”
The benefits of ABC methods are numerous. The most obvious is the time savings, but it also improves safety and, if done right, increases durability and decreases overall costs. The underlying idea is to use prefabricated components that can be delivered as needed, installed quickly and built upon immediately with no need for curing time.
Oldcastle Precast’s plant in Perris, Calif., manufactured two abutments, four wingwalls and 10 prestressed box girders. The abutments were cast is four parts, each measuring 6 feet by 6 feet by 20 feet, while the 105-foot girders weighed 55 tons.
“Oldcastle Precast is very proud to have been a part of this project,” said Scott Hicks, LEED AP, site manager for Oldcastle Precast. “The commitment and effort it takes from individuals to come together as a team to complete an ABC project on budget and schedule is extraordinary. We are thankful to have been a part of this team and look forward to providing precast solutions for ABC work in the future.”
Thanks to the partnership between the FHWA, Caltrans, the precaster and the contractor, Granite Construction, the bridge was completed in approximately two months, both ahead of deadline and under budget.