March 27, 2019

Accelerated bridge design returns vital crossing to MDOT

The two-lane bridge that carries travelers of U.S. 51 over the Coldwater River served as a vital route in northwest Mississippi for decades. But scour issues forced the Mississippi Department of Transportation to close the bridge, creating a significant strain on the region, especially those working in the area’s booming agricultural industry, or attending and working at a nearby community college.

To alleviate the inconvenience as much as possible, MDOT requested an accelerated replacement of the bridge. In response, Garver completed design and produced construction plans for the new bridge in just one month. The replacement bridge spans 1,937 feet, with a 615-foot long three-span steel plate girder unit.

For its design and ability to minimize social and economic impacts made possible by a bridge closure, the project recently earned the Grand Award from the American Council of Engineering Companies of Mississippi.

“Design for a project of this magnitude could typically take up to six months,” said Garver Bridge Team Leader Nick Altobelli. “But we knew the significance this bridge has on the region’s economy, so we worked closely with MDOT to provide a completed design in just one month.”

Garver also considered seismic effects in the design, developing a three-dimensional, global model of the bridge and conducting a seismic analysis to quantify the extent of those effects.

Garver is celebrating its centennial in 2019. To learn more, visit our centennial celebration page.

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