Saint Louis Bay Bridge

by Richard E. Whitaker, Resident Engr.; Hazelet & Erdal, Consulting Engrs., Louisville, KY,

Serial Information: Journal of the Construction Division, 1970, Vol. 96, Issue 2, Pg. 149-163

Document Type: Journal Paper


A 10,170-ft-long railroad bridge across a shallow bay consists of 60-ft prestressed, precast concrete box girders supported on prestressed concrete cylinder piles and a 285-ft-long structural steel truss swing span. All of the concrete components except the end abutments, pivot pier and rest piers were precast in an existing plant, barged to the site installed. The 500-ton steel swing span was assembled on barges. Towed to the site and lifted by the three cranes onto the pivot and rest piers. Driving 54-in. cylinder piles through heavy clay required pre-boring a hole with a special jetting apparatus. The bridge was designed for E-80 railroad loading and to withstand hurricane wave loadings estimated for a 100-year storm. Two years after completion, Hurricane Camille battered the bridge with much greater forces than those assumed, resulting in considerable damage but not destruction of the structure.

Subject Headings: Railroad bridges | Precast concrete | Concrete piles | Piers | Bays | Bridges | Girder bridges | Steel bridges

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