The 1,500-tonne lift span was put into place on time by Burkhalter Rigging

Commonwealth’s historic Accelerated Bridge Program was directed to the improvement of the existing bridges and their strengthening. The key aim of the program was to reduce the number of structurally deficient constructions. The budget for the initiative totaled $3,000,000,000. It covered the whole state of Massachusetts. The additional purpose of ABP was to prevent the existing bridges from becoming deficient.

landscape photography of gray concrete bridge

The initiative replaced the old bridges by means of creating as many new constructions as possible. The new bridges were usually built nearby the old ones, which allowed hastening the works and minimizing traffic delays. The program was based on several principles:

  • applying pre-fabricated components/building those components off-site
  • creating the whole construction off-site/putting the construction in place by means of self-propelled modular transporters
  • creating the constructions nearby the bridge/sliding them into place.

At the same time, the performers of the lifting and transportation faced plenty of challenges.

One of the significant projects under the initiative described above was the Fore River Bridge, the construction of which was fulfilled according to the schedule.

Fore River bridge opening

The new Fore River Bridge replaced the temporary one, the opening of which was in 2002. The construction was placed between Quincy and Weymouth in Massachusetts. The first bridge on that place appeared in 1936 and was called the Art Deco gem. The reason for the temporary bridge construction over the Fore River was the fact that the old one was not able to carry 32,000 cars anymore, which crossed the river every day. The temporary construction was an Erector set bridge.

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The renewed construction has appeared to be the steel vertical lift bridge, the price of which has been amounted to $272,000,000. It is able to smooth the traffic flow and minimize the waiting time because the opening and closing of the bridge have become two times faster than the temporary version has had. What’s more, it might be used in sunny, cold, and windy weather.

The White-Skanska-Koch company won the design and build contract for the new bridge, which was estimated at over $244 million.

The construction appeared to be about 1,500 tonnes and consisted of:

  • supporting towers
  • cast-in-place concrete plinth
  • steel lift span
  • individual pile caps
  • over-drilled shafts.

The significant weight and size created a challenge for Burkhalter Rigging Inc., which was chosen to lift the construction. It was fulfilled according to the ABP principles. The firm applied self-propelled modular transporter. The Burkhalter company cooperated with Enerpac in order to find the best lifting technologies. According to Mike Beres (the member of Enerpac team), they managed to find the most effective solutions. Thus, Fore River Bridge opening happened according to the schedule.

Special construction will allow giving the way to various sailboats without disturbing the road traffic flow even in the lowest position. It will also provide better access for the Port Area established by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.