Using ‘bridge slide’ technology

06 January 2014

The Michigan Department of Transportation in 2014 plans to replace a pair of highway overpasses using “bridge slide” technology. Contractors will build a new bridge next to the old one, demolish the old one, then slide the new one into place.

The Michigan Department of Transportation for the first time will replace a bridge by building a new one next to the old one, then sliding it into place.
The “bridge slide” method is planned this year for a new, wider I-96 overpass on M-50/Alden Nash Avenue SE.

The overpass will be out of service for less time using a “bridge slide” than it would under a typical replacement, MDOT spokesman John Richard said.
“You basically build that new bridge next to the existing one and then you demolish the old one,” he said.

“The new bridge is built on skids. Sometimes they just use Dawn dish soap to lubricate them, and then they slide the bridge into place. It really cuts down on the time the bridge is out of service.

“You’ll definitely see a lot more bridge slides taking place just because of the less impact on traffic. It’s really changing the industry. All the engineers at MDOT are very excited.”

MDOT this year also plans a bridge slide to replace the northbound and southbound U.S. 131 bridges over 3 Mile Road in Mecosta County, north of Howard City. In Kent County, Alden Nash traffic temporarily will be routed to the new bridge as the old bridge gets demolished, Richard said.
Construction timelines are being finalised, he said.
By Matt Vande Bunte

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