SAN FRANCISCO--T.Y. Lin International (TYLI), a globally recognized full-service infrastructure consulting firm, announces that the new Kanawha River Bridge in West Virginia has been opened to traffic. TYLI engineers designed the four lane bridge that carries I-64 eastbound traffic on an improved curved alignment as part of the widening of I-64 in Kanawha County, for which TYLI also provided civil design services. Westbound traffic will remain on the existing steel plate girder bridge.
TYLI worked closely with the West Virginia Department of Transportation, Division of Highways on this project, in which we were confronted with the challenge of creating a low-cost, durable, and aesthetically pleasing structure that would alleviate traffic congestion for commuters in the Charleston area
The construction contract was awarded in March of 2007 after competitive bidding between concrete and steel bridge alternatives. The bid price for the segmental concrete bridge alternative was $83 million, $30 million less than the steel alternative. The cast-in-place concrete bridge has a total length of 2,975 ft. and a main span of 760 ft., making it the longest box girder span in the United States.
TYLI worked closely with the West Virginia Department of Transportation, Division of Highways on this project, in which we were confronted with the challenge of creating a low-cost, durable, and aesthetically pleasing structure that would alleviate traffic congestion for commuters in the Charleston area, said Santiago Rodriguez, TYLI Project Manager and Lead Bridge Designer.
The design for the 760-ft.-long main span resulted from the need to locate the main piers outside the main channel of the Kanawha River in order to avoid interference with barge traffic. The continuous concrete box girder superstructure was chosen for the full length of the bridge. This allowed for longer approach spans, which reduced the bridges environmental and right-of-way impacts.
The resulting eight-span segmental bridge design is also the first long-span segmental box girder structure to be built in West Virginia using the balanced cantilever method. The impressive Kanawha River Bridge spans a railroad track operated by Norfolk Southern; Dunbar Avenue; the Kanawha River back channel; Wilson Island; the Kanawha River main channel; Riverside Drive; and MacCorkle Avenue. Barge, railroad and roadway traffic had no significant interruptions while the bridge was being built overhead with form travelers.
TYLI combined existing segmental bridge technologies and innovative approaches to solve the challenges of this complex project. Some of the features of the design, such as the lack of intermediate expansion joints, the wide and slender single cell cross-section, the radial orientation of bearing restraints within the curved alignment, the use of durable high strength concrete, and the high capacity foundation system, will serve as an example for the design of future bridges.
Founded in 1954, T.Y. Lin International is an internationally recognized, multi-disciplined full-service infrastructure engineering firm committed to providing innovative, cost-effective, constructible designs for the global infrastructure market. With close to 2,000 employees working in offices throughout the United States and Asia, the firm is able to provide support on projects of varying size and complexity. For more information about the company, please visit www.tylin.com