I-240 Named Best ABC Project in Two Categories

Projects | December 18, 2019


Group photo of Benesch team at the Accelerated Bridge Conference Award Ceremony

MIAMI, FL — Last week’s International Accelerated Bridge Conference brought exciting news to the Tennessee Department of Transportation and the I-240 engineering team, as the innovative interstate widening project took home Accelerated Bridge Construction (ABC) awards in two categories.

Using the Construction Manager/General Contractor (CM/GC) delivery method and a host of ABC techniques, TDOT’s I-240 project—dubbed MemFix4—widened a critical stretch of Memphis-area interstate and rehabilitated or replaced four structures (three roadway, one rail) in just 18 months.

Award-Winning Engineering

I-240 was honored with the following awards at the International ABC Conference on December 12, 2019:

Best ABC Project: Lateral Slide Technology (Railroad Bridge)

The project team utilized lateral slide technology in order to meet the Norfolk Southern (NS) Railroad’s requirement for continuous operation of two tracks during construction.

The newly constructed NS bridge superstructures were utilized as part of the temporary shoofly structure to maintain train traffic during construction. In order to always keep one track open, the 2.2-million-pound superstructure sections were slid 35 feet, one track at a time, over the course of two weekend closures—an engineering first on an active railroad bridge in Tennessee.

aerial view of rail bridges being constructed as a freight train passes through the construction zone
WATCH – TDOT captured each weekend slide-in using time-lapse video. See the first slide-in here, and catch the second one here.
Best ABC Project: Prefabricated Bridge Elements and Systems (Highway Bridge)

Prefabricated elements were key to the successful replacement of the east and westbound Poplar Avenue bridges over I-240.

New two-span steel girder bridges were constructed off-site at bridge farms and then rolled and lifted into place during two weekend roadway closures. Using these modular superstructures shaved several years’ worth of lane closures down to less than 120 hours.

Aerial image of new roadway bridges loaded onto self propelled modular transporters as they are moved down the interstate to their final permanent locations
WATCH – TDOT captured the replacements using time-lapse video. See WB Poplar Ave. here; EB here.

Benesch began working with the Tennessee DOT on the project in 2015 during an early technical study. Concurrent to the start of design work in September 2016, Kiewit Infrastructure South Co. was selected as the Construction Manager (CM) for the project. Benesch, Kiewit and TDOT worked collaboratively on the project’s design and continued their partnership through the construction phase.

In all, 18 months were cut from this $54 million project’s construction schedule.