Enhancements Maximize Lifespan of International Bridge
Originally opened in 1938, Port Huron, Michigan’s Blue Water Bridge carries I-94 through one of the country’s busiest border crossings between the United States and Canada. Spanning the St. Clair River for nearly a mile, the bridge is a unique, cantilevered through-truss with a conventional concrete deck on the approach spans, and a concrete-filled steel grate decking on the main span. Upkeep is shared equally by both countries, but the bridge’s last heavy rehabilitation was in 1997 with the opening of a new, second bridge to share the flow of millions of international travelers each year. Nearly two decades later, the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) hired OHM Advisors to perform construction engineering work on the U.S. portion of the original bridge.
Our construction engineers worked closely with the ground contractor. We oversaw all necessary repairs with silica fume modified concrete, verified the concrete overlay’s thickness to match the loading parameters, and arranged for part-width overlay replacement due to the bridge’s massive length and height. We also staged the timing of the contractor’s work to allow for the continuous delivery of concrete to the bridge deck for the overlay placement due to weight restrictions post hydro-demolition. Our experts’ vast construction knowledge and streamlined communication with MDOT and the Canadian project team contributed to seamless, synchronized work completion.
Project Highlights: bridge, DOT, international, construction engineering, construction staking, material testing, project engineering, office technician, MDOT policies & procedures