Rehabilitation of the Packers Falls Bridge

by Matthew J. Low, P.E., (A.M.ASCE),
Robert H. Durfee, P.E., (A.M.ASCE),

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Structures 2001: A Structural Engineering Odyssey


The Packers Falls Bridge was constructed in 1912 and consists of a 42' (12.8m) single span, reinforced concrete arch structure. This bridge was constructed using a unique forming system for its day, consisting of precast concrete rib sections that supported wood forms. The rib sections were ultimately cast-in and became an integral part of the concrete arch. This bridge is historically significant, in that it is the oldest surviving concrete ribbed arch in the state of New Hampshire. It is believed to have been designed by the faculty and students at the University of New Hampshire as one of the earliest concrete design courses offered by an engineering school in the country. The bridge remained unaltered until 1950, when the New Hampshire Department of Transportation (NHDOT) widened the bridge by adding rigid concrete frames on the upstream and downstream fascias. In the mid 1990's, significant concrete deterioration was observed on the underside of the arch and the load capacity of the structure was in question. A thorough field investigation, testing program, and structural analysis were performed. Field testing consisted of visual observations, sounding of concrete, and obtaining concrete cores to determine in-situ compression strength and density.

Subject Headings: Arch bridges | Span bridges | Rehabilitation | Bridge management | Maintenance and operation | Field tests | Concrete bridges | Concrete | New Hampshire | United States

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