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Gallants Channel Bridge Infrastructure Improvements

Bridge and road improvements alleviate traffic congestion for growing region.
  • Water in foreground with white and gray bridge spanning the water from right to the horizon - Gannett Fleming.

    The continuous-span bridge promises to improve traffic flow between Beaufort and the Outer Banks. 

  • Yellow crane in middle surrounded by the bridge’s white concrete in foreground and water in background - Gannett Fleming.

    Workers place the 78-foot girders for the bridge. 

  • Work area with waters and marsh under bridge girders - Gannett Fleming.

    The work area for the bridge framework becomes submerged as the tide begins to rise. 

  • Road leading to bridge in foreground with bridge and equipment in back - Gannett Fleming.

    This bridge is almost 3,400-feet-long and 65-feet-high.  

Client
North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT)

Location
Beaufort, North Carolina

Our Role
Construction Management, Construction Inspection

Data
Size
3,395 feet
Construction Cost
$66.4 million
Completed
2018
Type
New Construction
Duration
4 years
Outcomes
  • Change from a drawbridge to a fixed-span bridge improves vehicular and waterway commute
  • Replacement of an aging bridge increases safety
  • Widening U.S. 70 to four lanes improves traffic flow.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) had a challenge – improve the flow of vehicular traffic between Radio Island and Beaufort. A plan was designed to reduce delays and increase safety along the U.S. 70 Corridor from Raleigh to the Outer Banks. Replacement of the Gallants Channel Bridge and the widening of U.S. 70 were a crucial part of the plan. The more than 50-year-old, two-lane, bascule-style bridge was to be replaced with a 65-foot, high-rise continuous-span bridge with four lanes.  

The project would improve vehicular and waterway traffic flow, which had been obstructed by the frequent mechanical and electrical issues of the previous bridge. Gannett Fleming’s team of experienced construction engineering inspection (CEI) professionals was hired to make sure the project was completed safely, on time, and to the highest quality.

What We Did

Gannett Fleming provided CEI services to NCDOT in support of infrastructure improvements along U.S. Route 70, including the replacement of the bridge. We performed inspection services for the grading, drainage, paving, signals, and structure improvements from Radio Island to north of Beaufort, North Carolina. As NCDOT’s on-site inspection leader, our team made certain that the contract specifications were met both in execution and in the materials used.

Many weather-related challenges increased the necessity for a highly experienced CEI team. Five hurricanes over the project life required the contractor to break down the project site, prep it for the hurricane, and reset the site after the storm passed. During the recovery period, our inspectors thoroughly inspected the area and helped reset the schedule to ameliorate the costly delays. Additionally, the natural tides of the Atlantic Ocean gave the crew only three to four hours to work in dry conditions. Our extensive experience with bridges and roads was a necessity for the successful completion of this award-winning project in a changing environment.    

Key Features

  • The bridge was built over salt water requiring concretes to contain a corrosion inhibitor, including 15,649 cubic yards of Class AA concrete and 2,100 cubic yards of lightweight concrete
  • A 1,400 foot-long temporary trestle was erected to facilitate construction of the bridge built in a wetland area
  • Massive cranes with 150- to 250-foot booms enable efficient access to the carpenter barges delivering the piles and concrete.

Awards & Recognition

  • No. 1 Bridge, 2017, Roads & Bridges, 2017 Roads & Bridges Top 10 Bridges.

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