Stoney Creek Bridge Masonry Abutment Failure


TranSystems received an urgent call from a contractor to assist with an emergency inspection and repair of a local railroad bridge. Built in 1924 with salvaged steel girders from a nearby bridge and supported on reused masonry substructure units, the Stoney Creek Bridge had endured numerous storm events. When inspectors arrived at the bridge, there was a partial failure of the 24 ft. tall and 15 ft. wide south abutment due to undermining of the masonry. The collapsed area was rebuilt with reinforced concrete utilizing an innovative “super sack” sandbag cofferdam system. In addition, inspectors noticed issues with an adjacent timber cribwall, a bulging masonry wingwall, and advanced scour in the creek. The team corrected these deficiencies to extend the life of the bridge. Other aspects of the project included utilizing repairs methods and procedures that avoided or mitigated adverse effects to the environment and historic structures. Through the immediate action taken by the various members of the team, the railroad ran its first train over the repaired bridge within eight days of the initial emergency call.

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