As the harsh 2018-19 winter approached, there was concern from WisDOT officials and community members on whether the Rice Lake, Wis., Main Street bridge construction would remain on schedule. Six 72W girders, each 134 feet long and 135,000 lbs., were specified for production at County Materials Corporation’s outdoor production facility in Roberts, Wis. But the anticipated snow and temperatures made production team members realize that outdoor production would be too challenging. Instead, County Materials made the decision to move production of girders to the company’s state-of-the-art, indoor, climate-controlled facility located in Janesville, Wis. Because of the company’s manufacturing capabilities and adaptability, County Materials was able to meet the January 2019, mid-winter girder delivery timeline, keeping the project on schedule.
Prestress concrete girders were specified for this job because of their proven track record. The original bridge was built with a concrete arch structural system in 1919. In 1949, the bridge was expanded utilizing prestressed girders to create additional lanes, and in 1978 the deck structure on both sides was updated. In 2018, with the original concrete arch structure nearing 100 years of service life, and new community needs becoming apparent, engineers recommended the bridge undergo another major upgrade.
For this project, the existing prestressed concrete bridge girders remained part of the bridge, while the arched structure was removed and replaced with newly produced girders. Six new girders were delivered and installed during January 2019. Lifting devices cast into the girders provided a safe and efficient method for moving the girders into place. Once it’s completed in Fall 2019, the new bridge will not only provide the community with a safer infrastructure, it will have enhanced aesthetics, brightening the main entrance to downtown Rice Lake. In addition, the new bridge includes ADA compliant access for pedestrians.
The Main Street bridge will be the final chapter of infrastructure updates throughout the community of Rice Lake. County Materials played a pivotal role in maintaining the project’s tight timeline and working through the harsh 2018-2019 winter.