Dare County, Bonner Bridge Repairs

The Oregon Inlet (Bonner) Bridge Crutch Bent Repairs

Smith-Rowe was awarded its second Bonner Bridge Crutch Bent Repair project and performed the work from January 2015 to June 2015. We repaired Bents 108 thru 114, or 7 of the existing steel crutch bents that were installed some time ago to help beef up the original concrete pile structure. Due to shifting subsurface conditions, it was feared the original concrete piles were not deep enough to hold up the bridge. So, NCDOT installed deeper steel piles to assure a good foundation. Over time, in the harsh salt water conditions, those steel piles began to erode and badly needed replacing.

It was not uncommon to work in water temperatures in the mid-thirties off a barge covered in ice in 40 mph winds. Divers had to go underwater and cut out the old steel sections and new ones had to be installed, which involved underwater torching and drilling of new holes for the connections. The most holes any diver drilled in for one day was 180 each thru the 12 x 53 piles. Crews installed over 100,000 pounds of new structural steel.

That was the second project on the Bonner Bridge that Smith-Rowe performed. We completed the first crutch bent repair in February 2014. That project involved replacing eroded steel sections on 9 crutch bents, from Bent 115 thru 123, and included over 150,000 pounds of new steel. Both jobs were completed on time with zero accidents.


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