The Hodder bridge spans six highway lanes and is founded on a combination of hard till and bedrock. Because the structure would be exposed to the harsh northern Ontario climate, it was necessary to choose a construction material that could stand up to extreme weather conditions.
The owners of the bridge are extremely proud of the finished structure. The use of UHPC enabled them to achieve the intended objective of an open, aesthetically pleasing, and welcoming bridge, which was also economical and durable. It will now form the baseline design for a number of other planned overpasses on this section of the Trans-Canada Highway.
The Hodder Avenue underpass is the first structure in North America to incorporate precast UHPC pier cap and pier column shells along with precast high-performance concrete box girders, parapet walls, and approach slabs. All field connections were field cast using UHPC, resulting in smaller, simpler joints with superior durability. The use of UHPC also enabled the design team to create a clean, open frame with sleek, elegant lines to meet the owner’s aesthetic goals.
This project demonstrates that the use of precast ultra-high-performance and high-performance concrete bridge elements combined with field-cast UHPC connections gives designers an opportunity to advance bridge performance, shorten construction time, and extend the durability of these spans. The result is a resilient, attractive structure that is built to last, as well as an excellent model for similar precast bridge projects worldwide.