We've all seen a bridge construction project where a crane is offloading bridge beams from trucks lined up on the side of the highway each waiting for their turn to get unloaded. However, in the construction of the Main Street Bridge over the Scioto River in downtown Columbus, OH, Perkins played a leading role by delivering its huge girders and arch sections from Wisconsin.
The Main Street Bridge, a beautiful steel inclined single-rib tied arch bridge, is the icon of downtown Columbus. The combination vehicular/pedestrian bridge with a 100-year life spam is comprised of eighteen (18) steel box girders each weighing up to 315,000 lbs and five (5) curved arch segments, four of which weighted up to 229,460 lb. Most of the girders of the bridge deck and the segments of the Main Street Bridge's signature 10° inclined arch were 80' - 0" to 92' - 0 " in length with some heights up to 16' - 2" when set on their pilings. However, the net height of those girders exceeded the maximum loaded height for superloads in most of the states along the route to Columbus, OH requiring the fabricator to ship them laid-down on their side. In an upright orientation, these bridge components are designed to handle tremendous loads, but because the nineteen (19) heaviest pieces had to be shipped laid-down, each girder and arch section required full lateral and longitudinal support to avoid damage under its own weight.
To accommodate this transport requirement, Perkins used twenty (20) lines of its dual lane loading (DLL) hydraulic platform trailer equipment and for (4) tractors to power two 10-line configurations each handling gross vehicle weights (GVW) of up to 561,300 lbs along with 13-axle combinations for the four (4) smaller girders from Eau Claire, WI. With a platform length of just ver 89' - 0", the 18' - 0" wide combinations of modular trailer provided a massive 1,602 square feet of deck loading space allowing the quick and easy loading of each girder or arch segment by the bridge's manufacturer. Moving these superloads from WI across IL and IN into OH without incident, injury, or delay with each of them requiring up to 6 escorts is arguably an impressive accomplishment. However, final delivery of each load had its own challenge: each girder had to be backed down a steep stone ramp from grade to the river level for unloading by the bridge erector. Try that with a beam and dolly rig!
After Perkins moved 22 of the 23 girders and arch segments, the final arch segment at only 164,353 lbs proved to be a bit more challenging only because of the weather. While all of the other bridge components arrived on-time and in tact, the last pieces were delayed by widespread flood conditions throughout the Midwest. Perkins Project Manager solved the problem by finding a circuitous routing for our 13-axle combination to move the final arch sections from Wisconsin to Ohio across Lake Michigan via the Ludington Ferry for the completion of the signature arch on this iconic bridge.