Time-Lapse Video: Dish Soap Aids Utah’s Million-Pound Bridge Slide

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Updated Jul 25, 2022

With the help of some dish soap, crews in Utah slid a 1.1-million-pound bridge into place July 13 in under 4 hours.

This time-lapse video from the Utah Department of Transportation shows the 3.5-hour slide as crews worked overnight to complete the new bridge over Interstate 15 at Cedar City.

During the process, dish soap was used to smooth the slide via a hydraulic system that inched the bridge into place, according to UDOT.

“Our crews just slid a 1.1-million-pound bridge on I-15 in Cedar City using hard work, ingenuity and a little bit of dish soap last night,” UDOT announced July 14. “This is a unique project because the bridge we’re sliding has actually been used as both the northbound and southbound bridge in the last year.”

Utah bridge slide Workers use Dawn dish soap to help move deck into place on I-15 in Cedar CityWorkers on the July 13 bridge slide on I-15 in Cedar City, Utah, used Dawn dish soap to help move the new deck into place.Utah DOTThe accelerated bridge construction enabled the agency to reduce traffic delays while it replaced northbound and southbound bridges on I-15 over East Nichols Canyon Road.

The project, which began a year ago, first involved building a new center bridge between the two I-15 bridges. After it was built, northbound traffic was shifted to the new bridge, and the northbound bridge was demolished and replaced. Northbound traffic was then shifted to that new northbound bridge, while southbound drivers were shifted to the new center bridge. The southbound bridge was then demolished, and a supporting structure was built for a new deck.

After that, the center bridge’s deck was disconnected and slid into place July 13 to serve as the new southbound bridge.

Crews are now removing and reconstructing East Nichols Canyon Road under the new bridges. The road is scheduled to open in mid-August and the entire project completed by mid-September.

Wadsworth Brothers Construction of Draper, Utah, is the contractor for the $7.5 million project.

utah bridge slide crews prepare to move deck on I-15 bridge in Cedar City into placeThe hydraulic system is set to move the I-15 bridge deck in Cedar City into place.Utah DOT