Beams weighing 112,000 pounds each slid into place atop bridge piers Wednesday as work continued on the 55th Street project.
Workers will be placing 70 beams along the 1,100-foot span of the new 55th Street bridge on Minot's east side. Over the next 10 days, they will be placing parallel rows of seven beams between each of the 10 bridge sections. Two cranes lift the heavy beams so crews can maneuver them into position.
"It's a milestone for us," said Jeff McElwain, project engineer with Ackerman-Estvold Engineering and Management Consulting.
Photo by Jill Schramm/MDN
Workers position a 134-foot beam into place on top of piers during construction on the 55th Street bridge Wednesday.
Earlier this week, Ames Construction, the prime contractor, finished pouring columns and caps to form the piers that will support the bridge. Nine columns with an abutment at each end of the bridge are needed to provide the proper foundation for the bridge beams.
The beams are impressive at between 65 and 134 feet long. A team of trucks will make two runs each day for about the next 10 working days to bring the precast bridge beams, made by Cretex in Menoken, to the construction site. Crews at Cretex worked for three months to form the beams.
Once beams are in place, the next job will be constructing decks across the 40-foot-wide bridge. McElwain said the decking will be built and installed in sections. That part of the project should be completed by November.
The bridge is part of the Northeast Bypass project and will create an overpass over Burlington Northern Railroad tracks between Gavin Yard and the Port of North Dakota, the intermodal facility.
McElwain said the bridge is believed to have a longer span than the Broadway Bridge, making it Minot's longest bridge.
The City of Minot, Ward County and the North Dakota Department of Transportation are partners in the 55th Street Northeast Bypass/Grade Separation project. The project is largely federally funded.
The portion of 55th Street alongside the bridge remains open to both lanes of traffic, although motorists should exercise caution. McElwain said a temporary closure of 55th Street is planned next year so that the street can be linked to the bypass under construction.