DCR Access Road Bridge over Route 24 (Horse Bridge)
The new Massachusetts DCR Access Road over Route 24 replaces a 56-year old deteriorated four span steel bridge used by horses and hikers and referred to as Horse Bridge. The new 2-span precast concrete Matchcast channel beam bridge is 248 feet long and just under 30 feet wide. The 2-span bridge is made up of 31 precast concrete segmental channels and employs post-tensioned segmental construction.
Purcell Associates and International Bridge Technologies, Inc., designers of the bridge, used the channel system to reduce the profile of the bridge to 5 foot 4 inches without altering the approach grade. This reduced profile created a whopping 2 feet 6 inches of much needed vertical clearance, add to that the elimination of the two side piers and Route 24 becomes much safer for drivers.
According to Steven Cote, Project Manager from Unistress, speed was one of the many reasons for choosing precast concrete. Cote said, “During the first construction season the General Contractor, R. Zoppo Corporation, performed the site work. Once the second construction season came the product was complete and waiting for delivery.” The end result is no erection delays and a bridge that will be done on time.
As the old bridge came down the steel was recycled and some of the beams were used as temporary supports for the new bridge. This lessened the impact on the surrounding natural habitat and saved costs. Fitting gracefully into the surrounding area the new Horse Bridge will carry on the tradition for many generations of hikers and riders.
This structure type provides numerous advantages including an increased vertical under-clearance, accelerated construction time, and a lower life-cycle cost.
Owners, Contractors and Engineers are continuously looking for ways to reduce or eliminate carbon footprints. Recycling components of old structures helps reduce construction costs and the impact on the environment. Once removed from the old bridge, the steel beams were recycled and used as temporary supports in erecting the segments for the new bridge.