Rehabilitation of Bascule Span Woodrow Wilson Bridge

BridgesRehabilitation of Bascule Span Woodrow Wilson Bridge
Owner : Virginia Department of Transportation
Location : Washington, DC

The project consisted of replacement of the existing steel grating and stringers on four leaves of the previous Woodrow Wilson Bridge. The moveable spans consisted of two sets of double leaf bascule spans with a 222 foot span of the 175 foot channel. Each of the four leaves was 110 ft. long by 42 ft. wide. The contract plans assumed replacement of 16 individual grid panels (4 per leaf) and allowed for 16 nights of partial bridge closures. The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) contract provided for a $5,000 per hour incentive for improvements on that schedule. The contract also contained a stiff $5,000 per 15-minute disincentive for late opening of the bridge to full traffic. Recognizing that McLean had the equipment, manpower and planning resources to perform this work in tight time frames, McLean’s low bid for the project assumed replacement of the grid in 8 partial closures. However, after the contract award, McLean proposed to VDOT and its engineer, Hardesty & Hanover, to replace the grid deck in four half sections, each 21 ft. x 110 ft., while maintaining half of the span for traffic.

After extensive surveying to assure proper fit, McLean assembled the leaves of the new bascule spans in our Baltimore Yard by field drilling all grating to stringer connections, mounting the steel jersey barrier, end dam, finger joints and concrete filled grid. The new draw span leaves were then loaded onto barges and transported to the project site. McLean assembled a crew of 60 people onsite to make the span change-outs, drawing on experienced personnel from both the Baltimore and Norfolk regions.

VDOT had allowed 13 hours per night for McLean’s heavy lift equipment and personnel to remove and replace a leaf. However, only four nights were required over three weekends, the longest taking 11 hours and the shortest 6-1/2 hours to complete. In all, McLean earned $675,000 in incentive payments for limiting both the number of night closures and the time required to complete each of the four VDOT closures. This successful strategy substantially reduced the inconvenience to the Northern Virginia traveling public. VDOT awarded McLean a Contractor Performance Evaluation Score of 106% for our management and execution of the contract.

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