[ExI] Moving big things in Utah tonight

Kelly Anderson kellycoinguy at gmail.com
Fri Apr 1 04:31:59 UTC 2011

On Sat, Mar 26, 2011 at 9:40 PM, Adrian Tymes <atymes at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Sat, Mar 26, 2011 at 5:48 PM, Kelly Anderson <kellycoinguy at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Tonight, the Utah Transportation Authority will break the western
>> hemisphere record for moving a bridge constructed at the side of the
>> road. It is 80' x 354', roughly the size of a football field.
>> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ORtXe3trR_o
>> Is that cool or what? If it weren't going to be snowing at the time,
>> I'd go watch, even though it is in the middle of the night.
>> Apparently 60% of ALL bridges built in this way have been built in
>> Utah. Why wouldn't they do this in California and other places? It
>> takes the disruption of traffic down from several months to one night
>> and makes things safer for workers too.
> 1) Not Invented Here

You probably have a point on this one. But if it is cheaper, faster,
safer and less disruptive to traffic, eventually I would think it
would prevail.

> 2) Because it is not well understood by contractors out here, and/or
> not well adapted to particular details of the local geography, the
> projected costs would be way up for doing it out here.  Note, for
> example, that this bridge is being moved into place over completely
> dry ground - freeway, in fact - that can take the load and allow workers
> to access the bottom without special equipment.

The only cost is the need for a nearby empty field to build the bridge
on. This could really be a big problem in parts of Los Angeles, no
empty fields nearby could be a big problem. Utah has a good supply of
empty fields, apparently. I suspect that the contractors not knowing
the technology is a big part of the issue, but I think that education
is being done now. Apparently there were a lot of big wigs from around
the country watching this particular bridge being put in. One fellow
from Minnesota DOT was very excited about it.

I don't think the soil taking the load is a big issue. They moved the
bridge the other night in the mud as it was snowing at the time. They
had hundreds of big wheels on the ground, which would reduce the PSI
quite a bit. I don't have the specific numbers, but my sense having
watched a few of these go up, is that they don't do a lot of ground
prep to move the bridge. I might have missed something, but I do know
they move most of them over dirt.

UDOT has finished most of their projects lately under budget and on
time or early. It's pretty impressive really.


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