BNSF Bridge 380.12 over I-235 Replacement in Oklahoma among ENR Texas & Louisiana’s 2018 Best Project Winners

The Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) and BNSF Railway (BNSF) partnered to replace a BNSF bridge over the busy Interstate 235. The project was bid by ODOT as part of its largest construction package in history, at a contract bid price of $81 million, of which the truss bridge comprised $17.5 million. The contract time for the interchange project was 850 calendar days, which was reduced to 700 days using A+B bidding. Careful planning and modifying of construction sequences by the contractor further reduced the schedule to 550 days.

The last truss bridge constructed in Oklahoma was erected in the 1960’s. The specialized skills necessary for the safe erection of a truss bridge of this magnitude were limited locally. Therefore, the contract documents required pre-qualification of the erection contractor.

The use of Accelerated Bridge Construction (ABC) techniques minimized disruption to BNSF rail traffic, averaging 49 trains per day, and the 115,000 vehicles per day using the interstate. The contract documents were carefully crafted to ensure the contractors were fully aware the highway traffic would not be allowed to be reduced from four lanes to two lanes. The trusses could be launched or moved into place, but could not be stick-built in the final location.

The winning contractor elected to erect the trusses on the ODOT right-of-way and move them into place using Self-Propelled Modular Transports (SPMT). This creative method reduced the highway closure time for installing the trusses from months to a single three-day weekend. The use of SPMT resulted in no impact to rail traffic during the erection and installation of the trusses. In addition to the time savings, the use of ABC construction using SPMT’s greatly improved safety..

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