Ayear after shifting bridge bents halted work on the $217-million U.S. Route 20 project near Oregon’s coast, engineers are hoping for rain and a solution. Photo: Courtesy of ODOT Unstable soils have kept completion of an Oregon road section in limbo. While over 50% of the new 6.5-mile bypass is complete, four bridges up to 1,100 ft long sit partially constructed. Lateral load from adjacent fill and subsurface ground pressure may have caused two of the 20 bents on the 10-bridge project to shift as much as two inches. Since that discovery in February 2010, crews have been collecting data.
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.