Salvaging the Zilwaukee

by C. J. Arnold, Supervising Engr.; Structural Research Unit, Michigan Dept. of Transportation, Lansing, MI,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1986, Vol. 56, Issue 4, Pg. 46-49

Document Type: Feature article


In 1982, construction of the Zilwaukee Bridge in Michigan was disrupted when the launching truss failed to hold a precast concrete segment near Pier 11N, severely deflecting the cantilever and damaging the pier. The pier was salvaged by casting a new footing around the base of the pier columns, supported by reinforced concrete columns down to bedrock. Temporarily freezing the earth around and beneath the fractured footing helped stabilize the structure and holes were drilled through it for the new columns. The superstructure was jacked clear of the repaired pier columns so that new bearings could be placed, and finally it was lowered into proper place. Extensive instrumentation throughout this project allowed constant monitoring so that the repairs could be made safely.

Subject Headings: Piers | Infrastructure construction | Cantilever bridges | Precast concrete | Footings | Reinforced concrete | Concrete columns | Rehabilitation | Michigan | United States

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