Trends Summer 2020 | Page 17


Boyette Road over Fish Hawk Creek Branch

oyette Road is in an agricultural area in the County , and the structure

B over Fish Hawk Creek was a more than 20-foot-long culvert . The County expected a minor maintenance issue of removing sediment that had accumulated in the culvert . Ayres was asked to investigate the loss of soil underneath the bottom slab of the culvert . The concern was that if the culvert was undermined , it could collapse . The project started with desilting the culvert so the team could see what was going on .

“ When we investigated , we found out that when constructed , the bottom slab was never connected with reinforcing steel to the culvert walls ,” said Hisham Sunna , manager of structural design and inspection for Ayres ’ Southeast Operations . “ That ’ s not done nowadays but it was done back in the day .”
The County ’ s Abdul Al-Rawashdeh noted the team ’ s report directed that “ we have to shut down this bridge and we have to replace it – this bridge cannot take any loads .” There were open spots where there should have been concrete , and the danger was that the top slab could fail . for everyone . “ Now we know the condition of all our bridges – what ’ s worst , what ’ s oldest ,” Al-Rawashdeh said . “ Now we know where we need to go in the next five years and what we have to spend to make bridges safe and keep them from deteriorating .”
Rather than looking at repairs , it made more sense to replace the structure . The team worked overtime to develop cost estimates and design a new box culvert ( this one with all the walls properly connected ). To enhance safety , their plans also called for widening the roadway shoulders . Design was completed in February 2019 and construction began that April . “ It was a very short schedule compared to a normal design project ,” Sunna said . The new culvert and roadway were essentially completed by October 31 , 2019 .
– Wendy Kinderman
And when the next emergency call comes , the team is ready . “ This is really when you ’ re needed and all the hard work makes an immediate difference ,” Johnson said . “ You ’ re making sure the public is safe .”
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