Massena Bridge


The Massena Lateral Bridge Slide project consisted of replacing the existing 40’ x 30’ steel I-beam bridge (FHWA #017840) that was constructed in 1930 and was classified as structurally deficient with a sufficiency rating of 38. The bridge replacement increased the structural capacity of the bridge, improved roadway conditions, and enhanced safety by providing a wider roadway. Construction zone safety was greatly improved due to the introduction of innovative accelerated bridge construction (ABC) methods (limit traffic interference to a period of nine days or less). Furthermore, minimizing the need for future maintenance that interferes with traffic flow, congestion and crashes are reduced.

artist rendering of bridge The replacement structure was a single-span 120’ x 44’ bridge with precast abutment footings, wingwalls and superstructure fabricated adjacent to the previously existing bridge and moved into position by lateral slide. The contractor was required to:

  • Fabricate/cast the precast substructure components at a casting yard off-site or near the bridge site prior to road closure.
  • Construct the bridge superstructure on temporary false work adjacent to the existing structure while the roadway remained in service. Laterally slide the new bridge into position once the roadway had been closed, existing bridge demolished and precast substructure was put into position.
  • An offsite detour was used during the nine day road closure to allow field erection and bridge completion.

This project presented a unique opportunity to effectively promote and advance ABC for rapid renewal of the bridge infrastructure. The project represented a significant effort by the Iowa DOT to deploy a promising ABC method, lateral bridge slide, for the first time in Iowa.


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