Canadian Consulting Engineer

Multi-span bridge replaced in 51 hours

A project by Morrison Hershfield of Toronto is the first rapid replacement of a multi-span continuous bridge in North America.

March 21, 2011   Canadian Consulting Engineer

A project by Morrison Hershfield of Toronto is the first rapid replacement of a multi-span continuous bridge in North America.

Overnight on Friday, July 30, the bridge over Highway 403 at Aberdeen Avenue in Hamilton, Ontario was replaced completely within 51 hours, using a combination of “Jack and Slide,” and “Heavy Lifting” technologies. The achievement was recognized with the Project of the Year Award in the civil engineering category from Hamilton/Halton Engineering Week in February. The Ontario Ministry of Transportation and Dufferin Construction shared the award with Morrison Hershfield. Edward Li and Dennis Wong were the key engineers at Morrison Hershfield.

The two central spans of the bridge over the highway were replaced using multi-axel self propelled modular transporters. The two outer spans were then jacked into place within the next six hours. The remaining time was used to construct connections between the installed spans, backfilling abutments, approach slab installation, erecting signs, barriers, paving and painting road markings, to allow the Aberdeen Avenue Bridge to open to the public on 12:15 a.m. on Monday morning, a mere 51 hours after the closure began.  Highway 403 was only closed for two nights instead of three as originally planned.

The complete bridge superstructure replacement was designed to address the unique topography and congestion of the site. A small hill besides the highway was removed to form the casting location for the main panels, and areas adjacent the abutments were benched and formed to support the casting of the end panels.

The new structure remains continuous and does not require any expansion joints which are potential sources of deterioration.


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