On March 26th, UDOT's Utah County I-15 Corridor Expansion (I-15 CORE) and contractor, Provo River Constructors (PRC), made history with the successful move of the Sam White Bridge over Interstate 15 in American Fork, UT, in just one night. It is the longest two-span bridge ever moved by self-propelled modular transporters (SPMTs) in the Western Hemisphere. Crews set the bridge into place at approximately 4 a.m. Sunday and reopened the freeway at 7 a.m., three hours ahead of schedule.
"The Sam White Bridge move demonstrates our commitment to employing the latest technology to minimize delays to the traveling public and delivering our projects as fast as possible," said John Njord, executive director of UDOT.
Approximately 1,000 members of the public witnessed the move. In addition, state elected officials, more than 100 delegates from other Departments of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), and transportation industry professionals from as far away as China watched as two sets of SPMTs – hydraulic jacks on wheels, controlled by a single joystick – were used to lift the 354-foot, 3.8 million-pound structure 21 feet in the air. The bridge was then moved from the "bridge farm" where it was constructed on the east side of I-15 across eight freeway lanes (approximately 500 feet) and lowered into place.
"Building the bridge using Accelerated Bridge Construction (ABC) eliminated the need for as many as 10 full freeway closures," Dal Hawks, I-15 CORE project director, said. "This reduced traffic delays and benefited the state's economy by keeping people, goods and services moving while the bridge was being constructed."
Constructing the bridge using this technology helps meet the project's aggressive three-year timeline. The bridge is one of 59 bridges that will be new, rebuilt or modified on UDOT's $1.725 billion I-15 CORE project by December 2012.
The Sam White Bridge is UDOT's 23rd ABC bridge move – nearly double the number moved by all other states combined. The FHWA designated UDOT's move as a "Showcase" event for leaders to learn how more about ABC technology and how it can be applied to other transportation systems in the country.