Steel Shots: Up & at ‘em

Florence BridgeThe rehabilitation of Illinois’ 1929-built Florence Bridge took place with the lift span in the raised position. And while the bridge was held high, construction time stayed low. Photo: Modjeski and Masters

As any bridge inspector will tell you, it’s best to catch small problems before they become big.

In the summer of 2012, a routine inspection of the Florence Bridge, a movable bridge over the Illinois River in Florence, Ill., called for immediate closure of the bridge. The culprit was visible buckling of one of the bridge’s main columns that could potentially lead to a partial bridge collapse.

Given the bridge’s importance as a major crossing of the Illinois River in the area - it carries Illinois Route 106 over the river - the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) needed to find a solution to bring it back into service as quickly as possible. Fortunately, IDOT had a standing, on-call contract with bridge engineering firm Modjeski and Masters (M&M). The contract allowed IDOT to immediately engage M&M, which was able to quickly mobilize engineers to investigate the damage, develop a response plan and assemble a project team.

To learn about how M&M worked closely with IDOT to deliver a comprehensive rehabilitation of the bridge, read the article in the April 2014 issue of Modern Steel (available now!).