Public projects – from bridges and arenas to fire stations and utilities jobs – dominate the Eugene construction landscape as contractors and architects also work with public agencies to stretch budgets and protect the environment.
One of the largest, the $187-million Willamette River Bridge, kicked off last summer and is now in full swing.
The first step in a careful staging process was tearing down the decommissioned historic 1962 structure that linked Eugene and Springfield. Shear cracks discovered in the bridge in 2000 set off alarm bells and closed this important corridor until a temporary bridge could be constructed in 2004.
Eugene-based Staton Cos. demolished the historic bridge early this year using a 120-ft-wide wood-and-steel work platform set 10 ft above the water as a demolition containment structure. “Our goal is to contain 100% of construction debris, preventing all of it from entering the water,” says Rick Little, Oregon Dept. of Transportation public information officer.
A total of 30 million lbs of debris from the historic structure – steel, concrete and wood – will be reused or recycled.
A new 180-ft arch deck bridge will be constructed in the newly vacated space while both directions of traffic use the temporary bridge. A “simple, graceful design” was chosen, in part, because of the minimal in-river footprint, according to John Lively, account manager for Eugene-based Cawood, public information consultant for the project.
The former bridge sat on five piers in the river. The new design requires only one pier in the water, with the rest of the support coming from foundations onshore.
Springfield, Ore.-based Hamilton Construction Co. is construction manager and general contractor on the project.
Onramp adjustments and post-tensioning should be complete by 2012 so traffic can stream back and forth freely on northbound and southbound connectors.
In order to speed up the construction process, Oregon Dept. of Transportation bid its first-ever...