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Raising The Bar On Bridge Construction

A Mammoet crew lifts a section of the old bridge, above, then rolls it to a nearby staging area, below, for demolition.

A Mammoet crew lifts a section of the old bridge, above, then rolls it to a nearby staging area, below, for demolition.

A new bridge replacement technology that makes road construction safer and more efficient was used on a major project in the United States for the first time recently on Ranger North’s I-4 widening job in Volusia County, Florida. (See video clips.)

Instead of weeks-long lane closures while the Graves Ave. bridge was demolished and rebuilt in place by bridge subcontractor Leware Construction, the old spans were removed and new spans put in place in four overnight operations. The actual moves took only 20 minutes each, with rolling roadblocks minimizing traffic disruption.

The longer replacement bridge was built in a staging area at the exit for nearby Saxon Boulevard, then moved into place using the same self-propelled module transport (SPMT) system, a series of multi-axle hydraulic lifts computerized to work in unison. Ranger subcontracted with European heavy transport company Mammoet to perform the bridge-moving operations.

The advanced technology, developed overseas, allows fewer lane closures and traffic shifts, shortens the overall project schedule, and is safer and more convenient for motorists and workers.

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Ranger North Project Manager Ponch Frank, left, updates Vice President Mark Veillette as a bridge move is readied.

Ranger North Project Manager Ponch Frank, left, updates Vice President Mark Veillette as a bridge move is readied.