Ironton Russell Bridge

Ironton Russell Bridge

Ironton Russell Bridge

  • Supply and Installation of 120 Stay Cables
  • Design of Form Traveler System
  • Design of Pre-Cast Anchor Block
  • Heavy Lifting / Lowering
Ironton, OH & Russell, KY
Project Team
  • Brayman Construction Corporation
    General Contractor
  • Finley Engineering Group Inc.
    Contractor’s Engineer
  • URS

Along the Ohio River rests Ironton Russell, a highway bridge that has been in operation since 1922.  After a series of previous repairs to the structure, the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) received recommendation for a replacement span of the bridge.

STRUCTURAL TECHNOLOGIES / VSL joined Brayman Construction Company’s team during the pre-bid stage to develop solutions for the replacement of the bridge, a two lane, two tower stay cable bridge.

In addition to providing post-tensioning and stay cable systems, STRUCTURAL TECHNOLOGIES / VSL designed and supplied the form traveler used to support the wet concrete during bridge deck construction. Crews heavy lifted and lowered the form traveler on each of the two piers.

A total of four heavy lifting and lowering operations were conducted.  Two heavy lifts were performed to move the traveler from the barge onto the bridge.  Two instances of heavy lowering was later performed to lower the traveler to the barge after construction was completed.

The precast concrete stay anchorage block, presented to the team by STRUCTURAL TECHNOLOGIES / VSL, was secured to the traveler, and used to anchor the stay cables prior to the concrete being placed in the form traveler. This precast anchor block simplified the traveler design, as well as helped to prevent significant engineering and operational challenges. Previous cast-in-situ concrete traveler projects had to allow for temporary anchorage points and three-dimensional position changes.

The use of the precast anchor block, efficiency of the traveler design and the strong working relationship between the Brayman and STRUCTURAL TECHNOLOGIES / VSL crews helped reduce the bridge deck construction cycle from the as-bid 10 day duration to an as-built five day duration, reducing the overall construction duration by 150 working days.

STRUCTURAL TECHNOLOGIES / VSL supplied and supervised the installation of 120 stay cables. This work also included anchorage fabrication, HDPE pipe welding and hoisting, strand installation, damper and tension ring installation, and final anchorage corrosion protection injection.

The VSL post-tensioning systems used in the bridge deck and pier sections included the SA6-4 with 76mm flat duct for transverse tendons, the ECI 6-12 system with 76mm round duct in the transverse floor beams, the ECI 6-19 system with 100mm round duct in the strut in each pier, and the NCS 6-31 U shaped loop tendons with 130mm round duct in each of the piers. Post-Tensioning bars were used in the longitudinal bridge edge girders.

A challenge project teams faced was congestion with equipment, material storage, and tool/personnel containers as the bridge is very narrow, only two 12′ lanes and two 4′ shoulders. To help eliminate deck congestion during construction a 24’x15′ platform was placed on top of the tower that supported the three winches used for strand installation.

In addition to combating congestion issues and to make for a more streamlined strand installation process, the crew size was minimized from seven men to four men. This labor savings was accomplished in the following ways: the need for access to the outside of the tower (pier) for strand installation was eliminated as well as the need for a man to operate the brake used on the strand dispensing reels, and a winch operator was eliminated by placing the pendant to operate the winch inside the pylon at the upper anchorage.

Because a large amount of the work was done from heights, a 100% tie off policy was in place.  Due to the nature of the work, safety was a priority and STRUCTURAL TECHNOLOGIES / VSL tried to eliminate risky situations by providing explicit safety procedures and reviewing techniques.

Upon completion, the new Ironton-Russell Bridge has the longest span ever completed by ODOT.