McLean Returns to Churchland Bridge ~ 50 Years Later
Editor: Debbie Reaney
The Churchland Bridge in Portsmouth, VA is a critical throughfare for residents, connecting two sections of the city. It also serves as one of three crossings of the Western Branch of the Elizabeth River and as a route for trucks delivering goods to and from South Hampton Roads. The original bridge was built by VDOT over 50 years ago before the annexation of Norfolk County with the City of Portsmouth and still carries the Commonwealth seal on it. As is the case with most aging infrastructure, the multiple span, multiple-unit structural steel bridge with a suspended (pin-and-hanger type) span over the navigation channel was recently determined to have reached its useful life and considered structurally deficient. The primary justification for this project is the safety of the traveling public.
Part of a six-year plan, The City of Portsmouth hired McLean Construction to design, demolish and replace the northbound Churchland Bridge over the Western Branch of the Elizabeth River. Founded in 1903 in Maryland, McLean Contracting Company has continuously demonstrated steady adaptation, improvement, and growth performing a range of land and marine based heavy construction, including building the original south-bound portion of Churchland Bridge in 1970. The older north-bound bridge was recently demolished and removed, and a new 1,989-foot-long structure (about twice the height of the Empire State Building) featuring a concrete pile and girder design is being constructed in its place. Improvements to the existing southbound structure will also be completed, however this portion of the bridge itself will remain in place. When complete, the new bridge will maintain the existing navigational channel width and height.
Working in low head room for portions of this build has proven to be a slight challenge while driving and splicing steel H beams under the Churchland Bridge. Fortunately, International Construction Equipment, Inc was able to supply the McLean crew with an ICE® 12E Sheeting Clamp and a CAT 336 Excavator rentals from their fleet, helping to make this difficult driving a much easier process. "These guys have worked hard, splicing each pile three times. This project calls for a quick splice channel where the two beams are sleeved together and minimizes the required welding needed. Saves some time because you don't need to bevel and prep quite as much," stated the experts at McLean. Amazing work, McLean! Your commitment to providing extraordinary infrastructure solutions is genuinely appreciated by the City of Portsmouth and their surrounding areas.
Learn more about the ICE® 12E.
Pollyanna Cunningham, MA, MBA
Vice President Marketing, Brand and Media Relations
Vice President IT and IT Comm
ICE® - International Construction Equipment, Inc
Office - 704-821-8200
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