Okla. prepares for its largest ever bridge move, installation

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Updated Feb 1, 2018

I 235 Bnsf Bridge With Train Web

Calling it a “spectacular feat of engineering,” the Oklahoma Department of Transportation is nearing the day for moving and installing a 4-million-pound steel railroad bridge over Interstate 235 in Oklahoma City.

“Due to their size and weight, it will be a slow and steady operation to move the two bridge spans into place, taking up to a full day per span,” ODOT says. “The bridge structures will be hoisted up on self-propelled mobile transporters and inched along the highway into their new position over the interstate.”

American Bridge Company is in charge of the project to move the 45-foot-tall BNSF railroad bridge structures from their construction site a quarter mile away and install them. The interstate will be closed between I-44 and North 36th Street for three days starting January 26 for the project. The installation had been delayed because of high winds and could face delay again depending on the forecast.

An ODOT time-lapse video of the construction of the new railroad bridges to be moved and installed can be seen at the end of this post.

Still from an ODOT time-lapse video of the construction of the new railroad bridges to be moved and installed January 26-28 in Oklahoma City over I-235.Still from an ODOT time-lapse video of the construction of the new railroad bridges to be moved and installed January 26-28 in Oklahoma City over I-235.

ODOT says this is the first time the bridge-moving technique is being used in the state. By building the bridge on an off-site area, the agency was able to reduce the number of closures to I-235 during the interstate’s two-year, $88 million reconstruction and widening to six lanes.

“In recent years, Oklahoma is using additional innovative techniques to keep interstates and highways open to traffic with shorter closures whenever circumstances allow,” said ODOT spokeswoman Terri Angier. “So far, this is the largest project in ODOT history, and this part its most defining milestone.”