The Utah Department of Transportation is using an innovative method to replace the Interstate Highway I-84 overpass bridge near Echo Junction in northern Utah (USA) to save construction time and government money. Bridges will be supported on a mechanically stabilized earth system utilizing TenCate Mirafi® geotextile reinforcement.
The state is building a replacement 58-foot wide span bridge. The bridge will be supported on a mechanically stabilized earth (MSE) system utilizing TenCate Mirafi® geotextile reinforcement. This is the first structure of its kind to be used on an Interstate Highway. Typically, bridge abutments are constructed using steel piles and large cast-in-place concrete structures that requires specialized labor, large equipment and takes longer to build. The MSE system allows for rapid construction and significant construction savings. This system also allows for flexibility in the appearance of the abutments by having various colors and textures of segmental retaining wall (SRW) blocks to select for a nice appearance.
The abutment is done in three steps: first, laying the block facing material; second, placing and compacting the backfill; and third, laying the TenCate Mirafi® geosynthetic reinforcement. The process is repeated to the specified height of the bridge abutment. Builders will slide the bridge deck into place when the abutment is finished sometime in late summer.
The Utah Department of Transportation said this innovative technique will save $200,000 dollars on the $3.2 million price tag because concrete is more expensive and time consuming. There is also ease of construction and shorter construction time. “We are pleased to see the many benefits provided by our products highlighted so prominently in the Utah DOT project”, says Todd Anderson, Vice President Sales & Marketing for the Americas. “Innovative design combined with efficient and effective TenCate Geosynthetics materials make a difference in cost savings and sustainable construction.”