FLOAT-IN OF WELLSBURG BRIDGE SPAN
Project SummaryIn April 2021, Argonautics Marine Engineering, Inc. provided on-site assistance during the float-in of the 830 ft long tied-arch bridge across the Ohio river between Wellsburg, WV, and Brilliant, OH. The 4,100 ST steel span was constructed at a yard in Wellsburg with slips under the bridge ends. After preparing two sets of barges with steel grillages and Mammoet jack towers, the barges were inserted in the slips and the span jacked up from its shore supports. With the span jacked up to tow elevation and a favorable weather window in the forecast, the barges with towers and span were pulled back out of the slips and slowly towed to the piers located about 1 mile downriver. After rotating and mooring the barges next to the piers, the span was jacked up to its final float-over height. With good clearance over the piers, the barges were pulled upstream between the piers and the span lowered onto its bearings, while maintaining accurate position. The following day, the full span weight was transferred from the jack towers towers to the piers and the barges were pulled out from under the span.
During this challenging float-in operation, on-site support was provided to the bridge design and build contractor.
Scope of WorkThe project scope included:
• Check feasibility and establish minimum required barge dimensions for good stability with the span on high towers;
Suitability survey of selected cargo barges;
Verify barge hull strength for the various jack tower grillage concepts and configurations;
Review the float plans, procedures and schedules, and participate in weekly progress meetings;
Provide on-site assistance during the actual float-in operation.