Canadian Consulting Engineer

Acrow provides replacement for Ontario’s Thessalon River Bridge

August 17, 2023

The long-span modular steel bridge was recently installed as a permanent replacement for the aging single-lane Thessalon River Bridge.

Photo Credit: Acrow

New Jersey-based bridge engineering and supply company Acrow has supplied a long-span modular steel Delta bridge as a permanent replacement for the aging single-lane Thessalon River Bridge on Highway 638 in Rydal Bank, Ontario.

The bridge was provided to the Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO) through project contractor The Miller Group.

In an Aug. 15 news release, Acrow officials said the replacement project “posed several challenges,” including a short construction time – since the bridge provides access for emergency vehicles – with a maximum 15-day closure of the bridge permitted. “In addition, the work site had an extremely limited footprint,” the company said. “Steep slopes on both sides of the east bridge approach prohibited its use as a temporary laydown area, so components were shipped to a nearby quarry pit where, after sorting, they were transported by truck to the construction site.”

A fleet of 22 trucks was used to ensure a coordinated, efficient offloading of bridging materials, the release added.

The long-span Delta solution has a length of 67.5 meters (221.5 feet) and a curb-to-curb width of 7.35 meters (24.1 feet) to accommodate two lanes of traffic, plus a cantilevered footwalk on one side. After site preparation including earthworks, foundation, unloading and preassembly of the Delta truss panels, the old bridge was removed, and assembly of the new bridge began on June 21. It was installed seven days later using a full cantilever launch, and jacked down onto its bearings, from a height of more than two meters, on June 30, opening to traffic on July 2.

The bridge has been designed with the capacity for two lanes of standard CL-625-ONT (64 metric tonnes) and pedestrian loading and was provided with an epoxy aggregate anti-skid coating.

“[Our] cost-effective Delta system provided the perfect solution to this project with extremely limited access and a tight installation timeframe,” said Betul Oliver, Acrow Canada’s Business Development Manager, Eastern Canada. “The speed of installation avoided the need for a detour structure, and kept the project on schedule and within budget.”

The bridge has a service life of between 75 and 100 years, Acrow officials said.


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