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* News Release *
 
Thursday, March 4, 2004
For Immediate Release

BCEO CREWS STAY BUSY BUILDING BRIDGE BEAMS
Plus Other Winter Duties

Keeping Butler County roads safe and clear during treacherous winter weather can consume a lot of hours by BCEO crews. But what about winters like this where the second half has been virtually snow-free?

The same crews that perform snow and ice control also complete general road maintenance all year long. Even during brutally cold winter weather, crews still execute major duties such as structural and roadway repairs, drainage maintenance, and equipment maintenance and preparation. Pothole repairs are also a significant duty when the late winter thaw arrives.

Winter is also a time of planning and preparation for the upcoming construction season. With the construction bid for a new Howe Road bridge scheduled to be awarded this spring, one BCEO crew has been working on the production of sixteen pre-cast concrete beams. The new beams will be used as decking for the bridge replacement project in Madison Township.

Since the procedure is extensive and time consuming, a crew must begin in early winter so that the beams can be completed on schedule. They begin by erecting the concrete forms in which to place a steel cage, thus creating steel reinforcement. Next, the concrete is poured and must cure for seven days after which the crew strips the forms. The crew then moves the completed beams to a storage lot where they will remain until needed. As a result of the lengthy procedure, the construction crew completes an average of two beams per week.

When Howe Road Bridge construction begins, the sixteen beams will be transported to the project site. Since the beams are extremely heavy, a crane is needed to load them onto a flatbed truck. Depending on the size of the beam, the average flatbed truck can transport two beams at a time. Once the beams arrive at the site, another crane is on site to remove them from the flatbed. Finally, each concrete beam is put into place by the crane and serves as the decking upon which guardrail and pavement are applied.

The pre-cast concrete beams are estimated to have a life expectancy of fifty years. Moreover, building them in-house is a cost-effective use of time, materials, and labor during snow-free winter periods.

  • Photo: Forming new bridge beams.
  • Photo: Forming new bridge beams.
  • Photo: Forming new bridge beams.
  • Photo: Moving beam out of garage.
  • Photo: Example of pre-cast concrete beam in place for new State Road Bridge, 2003.
  • Photo: Pre-cast concrete beam being placed by crane for new State Road Bridge, 2003.
  • Photo: Example of concrete decking fully in place before pavement and guardrails. Fairfield Rd Bridge, 2003.

# # #

For more information contact:

Chris Petrocy, BCEO Public Information Supervisor
Greg Wilkens, P.E., P.S., Butler County Engineer
Phone 513.867.5744 • Fax 513.867.5849


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