The original Clarks Mills County Route 113 Bridge connecting Greenwich, N.Y., and Easton, N.Y., was built more than 100 years ago, and was in dire need of replacement. The structure spanning the Batten Kill River was in poor condition, and the community needed an overpass with wider lanes to support increased truck traffic. However, local residents didn’t want to lose the historic charm of the original arched bridge.
To meet the community’s needs and aesthetic goals, the designers used precast concrete to replicate the look and feel of the original bridge in a more durable replacement bridge. The decision to use precast concrete also eliminated need for significant form work over the river. This reduced construction time significantly, minimizing the project’s impact on travelers.
Hometown Precast Concrete Producer
The new three-span arch bridge features 84 precast concrete units, with the heaviest piece weighing 54,000 pounds. The pieces were manufactured just two miles from the jobsite, at the Fort Miller Co. manufacturing facility.
Due to the large span of the river and limited site access from the embankments, the contractor had to construct the bridge by placing cranes and construction equipment in the river. Workers built a tall stone causeway, diverted the heavy stream flow through three main channels using a temporary barrier, and then bridged these gaps with large composite steel/wood crane mats.
Each arch span consisted of 16 precast concrete pieces per span. The arch spans were split in halves, and the adjoining arch halves had to be set simultaneously into their final position; by design, the arch spans could be held in place by gravity alone. The contractor incorporated air hoists within the rigging setup to trip the arch pieces from the transport position to their final setting position. A final closure pour at the top of the arch created a permanent connection in the field.
Once the bridge was backfilled, paved, and opened to traffic, the stones in the stone formliner finish on the headwalls were individually stained to create an aesthetically pleasing final product. The complete erection of the precast concrete elements took less than four weeks. The new, wider bridge now allows better access for heavy vehicles and tractor trailers.
No bridge is easy to replace and this was a challenge for a factory located on the riverbank. The Route 113 Bridge is situated next to Hollingsworth & Vose (H&V) which needed to keep operating 24/7. The factory uses water power from the Batten Kill and natural gas when needed. Employees walk across the bridge every day from the manufacturing plant on the south side to the research and development building on the north. H&V needed the bridge for crucial deliveries to keep the factory running.
Access to H&V was maintained during construction to allow for material deliveries. The contractor had to keep water flowing during the project Workers built a combination of cofferdams and causeways to create dry areas to work, while not stopping the low flow of the river.
Precast concrete was a good fit to replace the 103 year old structure quickly and efficiently while keeping its historic nature intact.