Casting Hot and Cold

by Thomas DeHaven, P.E., Chf. Bridge Engr.; Figg Construction Services Inc., Tallahassee, FL,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1998, Vol. 68, Issue 4, Pg. 44-47

Document Type: Feature article


Contractors and engineers battled the Minnesota winter to build a concrete segmental bridge with form travelers. Superstructure segments were poured in temperatures as low as -19F, using large heaters and insulating blankets to maintain the proper concrete temperature during curing. Mass concrete pours for the footings and pier stems presented the opposite challenge—too much heat generated by the cement-rich concrete. The project team cyclically watered and dewatered a cofferdam to carefully cool the concrete without causing cracking. The new Wabasha Street Bridge over the Mississippi River in St. Paul is the fifth built on the site in 140 years, but the first since 1889. The twin 1,250 ft box-girder structures, each with two 230 ft and two 400 ft spans, are scheduled to open to traffic in July 1998.

Subject Headings: Concrete bridges | Temperature effects | Mass concrete | Contractors and subcontractors | Winter | Superstructures | HVAC | Building insulation | Minnesota | United States | Mississippi River

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