J-U-B recently finished the Kuna Road Bridge project for the Ada County Highway District (ACHD) in Idaho. J-U-B provided the Bridge Design and ACHD constructed the bridge with their own team.
Several highway jurisdictions nationwide have used a relatively new method for building bridges promoted by the Federal Highway Administration through the ‘Every Day Counts’ initiative. Geosynthetic Reinforced Soil – Integrated Bridge System (GRS-IBS) is an innovative system of constructing the bridge foundation (abutments and wingwalls).
The materials used in GRS-IBS projects are easily obtained. The construction methods are successfully implemented without specialized labor, and the ease of assembling a foundation using this method reduces construction time. These benefits promote economic efficiency, with the cost of building the GRS-IBS bridges 25% to 60% less than conventional bridge construction (percentages provided by FHWA).
Nationwide, GRS-IBS bridges have a history of excellent performance when used to replace single-span bridges. ACHD’s record of innovation comes with the courage to take advantage of a new bridge construction method and involve their workforce in the process. A video, produced by ACHD, about the unique construction of this bridge can be viewed HERE.
In addition to the time savings, benefits include the following:
• Rideability – reinforced soil approaches eliminate a common problem where a bump develops in the pavement between the roadway and a bridge.
• No specialized materials or equipment needed.
• Impact on the traveling public is reduced because construction times are minimized.
• Sponsor experiences the satisfaction of quickly building a long-lasting structure.
• With one GRS-IBS bridge complete, the bridge crew has experience and confidence to build a second bridge with this method. Efficiencies learned through the first project will save time on the crew’s second GRS-IBS Bridge project.
• If mistakes occur during construction they are easily rectified.
• GRS-IBS bridge construction can be performed during winter months.
• Cast in place concrete at the project site can be minimized and in some instances eliminated to avoid formwork, tying rebar, and curing concrete.
Did you Know:
In five years Idaho will have 1,100 local bridges that are over 50 years old! Using the Geosynthetic Reinforced Soil – Integrated Bridge System (GRS-IBS) method will help extend the funding for Idaho bridges by reducing bridge replacement costs.