Torrential rain caused a deck bridge washout of the UPRR’s Bridge 103.27 in Topeka, KS. The morning following the washout, the track inspector discovered the pier collapsed into the creek and one of the abutments was seriously scoured. The UPRR enlisted Benesch to design the replacement bridge under the caveat that the design for this key track had to be completed in less than seven days.
Knowing that recovery and reuse of the washed out spans would ultimately not be practical for time or overall structure stability, steel beam spans were quickly located at a local emergency yard, and additional materials were obtained from local yards and suppliers. Benesch developed plans using the new spans. New pile bents were designed and driven for the new center pier. Grillages beneath the beams at the abutments and piers were designed and sent to the fabricator, which had to be rush fabricated. This fast emergency response led to the erection of the replacement bridge a day and a half ahead of schedule.