Maine Department of Transportation (MaineDOT) needed to replace a 60-year-old structurally unsound bridge on the state’s busiest stretch of interstate. Shutting down the I-295 bridge where it crossed over Veranda Street could inconvenience as many as 75,000 vehicles per day. Working with lead designer HNTB, MaineDOT instead replaced the aging, deteriorated bridge in its entirety over one weekend using an accelerated bridge construction (ABC) method.

Crews began removing the existing structure on Friday evening. By Monday morning the new bridge was paved, striped and open to traffic. MaineDOT worked closely with HNTB and other project team members develop a replacement option that was efficient, cost-effective and safe for both on-site workers and the community. Relying on HNTB’s significant experience in ABC, interstate work and complex traffic management, the project limited negative impacts of construction on motorists and used approaches that were safer and more maintenance-friendly.

Relying on hundreds of workers and months of preparation, two new 800,000-pound concrete structures were set into place — within an inch of pre-constructed roadway and embankments — using self-propelled modular transporters. With broad public support, the project safely delivered a new, lower maintenance bridge with two vehicle travel lanes in record time.

Below the reconfigured bridge, Veranda Street improvements modernized and simplified the roadway, eliminating one of the highest crash locations in the state and establishing a 1.4-acre community green space. Additionally, new bike lanes, sidewalks and a multi-use path emphasize MaineDOT’s commitment to safely and effectively accommodating all users.

With much pre-planning, public outreach and project team coordination, Veranda Street Bridge became the largest, fastest, and most ambitious ABC project in the state’s history.

Location: Portland, ME

Client: Maine Department of Transportation

Awards: NASHTO America's Transportation Award for Best Use of Technology and Innovation

Read More: Accelerating Opportunity, Designer article