In 2008, the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) embarked on an aggressive campaign to replace 554 structurally deficient and functionally obsolete bridges in a single design-build contract dubbed “Safe & Sound.” The objective was providing the traveling public of Missouri with safe bridges throughout the state as fast as possible with a minimum of interruption, since long detours were required for many of the project sites.

MoDOT took this opportunity to deploy three HCB bridges to further add to their suite of solutions for Accelerated Bridge Construction (ABC). A Highways for LIFE (HfL) grant from the Federal Highway Administration was leveraged to address three different types of bridging solutions using Hillman Composite Beams (HCB®s), including B0478.

To fully maximize the prefabricated bridge system benefits of the HCB, B0478 was constructed using the HCB section originally developed for the Knickerbocker Bridge in Booth Bay, Maine. This section incorporates a 4-foot-wide FRP top flange adhered to the standard 2-foot-wide HCB box. As a result, the HCB units can be set side by side, eliminating the need for deck forming.

Although placed side by side, the HCB units do not require stressing together with post-tensioning bars or the grouted joints placed between conventional adjacent concrete box girders. Not only does this eliminate steps during construction, it mitigates a detail that consistently results in reflective longitudinal cracks between beams on precast concrete bridges.

In July 2012, L Krupp Construction took delivery of 12 HCB units loaded onto only two trucks. For precast concrete, this would have required 12 truckloads for 12 beams. The contractor was able to set 12 beams for both spans in less than a day. The concrete arches were filled over the next two days, at which point the Krupp crew was ready to place deck reinforcing steel without the need to install any permanent or temporary formwork between the beams.

The completed Bridge B0478 now carries Missouri Route 49 over Ottery Creek Overflow in Reynolds County. With the corrosion-resistant HCB shells and integral abutments eliminating all joints and bearings, MoDOT successfully advanced the state of bridge construction and extended the service life of this new bridge.

Project Specs:

  • Two spans
  • Length: 101 ft. (31.6 m)
  • Width: 26 ft. (8.1 m)

HCB Piece Weight

  • Empty: 3,100 lbs. (1,400 kg)
  • Filled: 9,900 lbs. (4,500 kg)

Owner: Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT)

Contractor: KTU Constructors/L Krupp Construction

Completion date: August 2012

Project Sheet: Click here for downloadable PDF version

“The technical expertise that HCB Inc. provided was fantastic. They answered any questions we had and worked with us to develop some techniques for erecting them. Using HCBs reduced trucking substantially. We were able to move four beams per truckload. If we had used conventional beams, we would have had to use significantly more trucks. Located in a marine environment, Knickerbocker Bridge was a great application for HCBs because it will withstand corrosion better than steel or concrete.”