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Foundation Reinforcement of Kinzua Bridge Complete
July 19, 2010

Design-build contractor GeoStructures has completed foundation reinforcement of Pennsylvania’s Kinzua Bridge in the effort to restore the historic structure as a tourist attraction.

Installation of tension micropiles increased lateral load resistance of the remaining sections of the former railroad bridge that was partially destroyed by a 2003 tornado. The micropiles, which anchor the existing tower piers to rock, were the ideal solution because they were able to be installed through the existing sandstone foundation piers. The company performed core drilling through the 108 year-old piers, then installed steel casings and micropiles using a compact drill rig on a CAT 314 excavator base. GeoStructures installed a total of 48 primary tension micropiles with load capacities ranging from 54 kips to 84 kips to supplement foundation uplift resistance and 48 secondary anchors to reinforce the existing tower piers.

Jon Bennett, the firm’s Micropile specialist who oversaw the micropile design, will present project details at the 10th international workshop at a meeting of the International Society for Micropiles, Sept. 22nd-25th, 2010 in Washington, D.C.

After the project is completed by GeoStructures and general contractor J.D. Eckman this year, the state plans to open the bridge as a visitor’s center that will include an observation platform with a glass bottom on top of the remaining southern part of the bridge. The structure is on The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) National Register of Historic Civil Engineering Landmarks, and on the National Register of Historic Places.

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