Nevada DOT, FHWA show innovative bridge replacement methods

Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez on Jan. 10 joined officials from the Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) as they put a new bridge in place on the I-15 West Mesquite Interchange with new technologies that allowed for faster completion of the project, resulting in less congestion for travelers, according to the U.S. DOT.

Officials from more than 24 state departments of transportation viewed the demonstration to learn how the advancements could benefit their states.

“The people of Nevada couldn’t wait for this new bridge, and using innovative technologies allowed us  to get  it repaired and open to traffic quickly,” said U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood in a written press statement from the U.S. DOT. “Projects like these create jobs, keep people and goods moving and help grow the economy.  That is exactly why President Obama believes investing in transportation infrastructure is so critical.”

By using an innovative method known as accelerated bridge construction, workers used prefabricated elements to quickly assemble the bridge and slide it into place during off-peak travel times to minimize the time drivers would face congestion as a result of the construction.

In completing this project without restricting traffic on I-15, impact to freight, which accounts for 25 percent of the road users on this corridor, was minimized. The $21 million project will improve safety, travel and access by reconstructing the existing I-15 West Mesquite exit.

“By highlighting key innovations, we’re helping keep traffic moving as smoothly as possible, which lets people spend less time in their cars and more time doing things they enjoy,” said Mendez in a press release.

Through its Highways for LIFE program, the Federal Highway Administration and NDOT partnered to host the Mesquite demonstration in order to share best practices with transportation representatives from more than 24 states across the country.