Beltline/Yahara Bridge Pile Rehabilitation

Posted By: Michael Delemont Awards,

2020 Engineering Excellence Best of State

Entering Firm: AECOM Technical Services Inc.
Client: Wisconsin Department of Transportation

Madison’s Beltline highway is one of the state’s busiest roadways, carrying more than 120,000 vehicles daily. The Yahara birdges, a core segment, carry three lanes of traffic in either direction over a river and adjacent marsh. The piles forming the foundation were degrading, leading to concerns about the structural stability.

Integrated Planning and Design

AECOM Technical Services started by taking a thoughtful approach to installation of the rehabilitated piles. The design team conducted a detailed inspection of all 803 piles and compared their conditions to expected conditions for the environment. They then evaluated nine different options on a wide variety of criteria. After narrowing the list, seven samples were installed on one pile and received a performance evaluation. Finally, the team recommended a solution based on extensive review and testing. This solution ensured a reliable product and saved money on contractor bids.

Awards judge Jake Ehmke said: “Taking this segment of roadway down for any duration would severely impact Dane County traffic and the southern Wisconsin economy. AECOM recognized this, and did an excellent job pulling together a team of technical experts to make the best and most informed decision to benefit Wisconsin motorists and taxpayers. This unique approach, and respective repair system, was perfectly tailored for successful completion.”

Protecting Wisconsin’s Infrastructure

A bridge rehabilitation like this had never been attempted in Wisconsin. In the end, the team’s eye for detail meant the project was completed ahead of schedule and without disruption to traffic. The bridges will serve Wisconsin for the foreseeable future.

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