Hill Field Road ‘Sliding’ Bridges Win Two Awards

The Hill Field Road “sliding” bridge and interchange reconstruction project was recognized by the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC)-Utah with an Honor Award for Transportation in the organization’s 2016 Engineering Excellence Awards competition. The project also received the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) 2016 Keep Utah Moving Award.

Hill Field Road Interchange, award


The now-completed Hill Field Road bridge and intersection has been recognized with ACEC-Utah and UDOT awards.

The bridge and interchange, located at the intersection of State Route 232 and the Interstate 15 interchange in Layton City, Utah, was completed in August, although significant portions of the interchange had previously been opened to traffic. The $28 million project included full reconstruction of I-15, four ramps at the intersection, and the cross street, as well as several signalized intersections in the area.

The bridge reconstruction project attracted media attention in early March when workers used an innovative approach to construction by sliding the 1,600-ton northbound section of the bridge into place in less than six hours. Overnight, construction crews successfully used large steel cables on both sides of the bridge, slide pads on stacks of plywood between the bridge and the concrete abutment pile caps, and large amounts of dishwashing liquid to reduce the friction and pull the bridge into place by morning.

In May, construction crews did it all over again. This time, they were able to use lessons learned on the first maneuver – including use of solid lumber instead of plywood to support the load – to move the southbound span into place in less than half the time.

As the designer of the bridge and intersection, WSP USA worked with the contractor, Ames Construction, to develop the construction plan that allowed the project team to build the new bridge spans adjacent to the existing road, then slide them into place when ready.

sliding bridge, Utah traffic, view above


Once the old bridge was removed from between the new spans, workers were able to slide the new bridge sections into place overnight.

I-15 is the busiest north-south highway in Utah with an average of 115,000 vehicles per day, so even a short closure of the roadway was not practical. The sliding bridge plan made permanent closure of I-15 and traffic detours unnecessary.

The project team designed a temporary “shoo-fly” roadway on the west side of I-15 and aligned it with the southbound bridge. The connection was completed with the 90-foot-wide bridge accommodating three lanes of traffic in either direction, allowing demolition of the old bridge. Both 180-foot-long bridges were built about a foot wider than required, allowing both north and south traffic on one bridge during transition.

Hill Field Road, which passes underneath the bridge, was widened to add additional through and left-turn lanes onto the I-15 ramps.

The Keep Utah Moving Award. award was presented at the UDOT Engineering Conference, held on Nov. 1-3. The ACEC-Utah Honor Award will be presented on Nov. 17.

sliding bridge, Utah traffic, feature

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