Rehabilitation of Angela Boulevard over the St. Joseph River

September 9, 2014

The Angela Boulevard Bridge is a 3-span (84’; 88’; 84’), filled-arch spandrel bridge built in 1940 under the Works Progress Administration, which made it eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. The 268-foot structure crosses the St. Joseph River with a clear roadway of 40 feet and a total deck width of 53 feet.

After conducting an inspection, Lochmueller Group (Lochgroup) analyzed the existing arch rings to see if the posted 15-ton load limit could be modified. It was determined that with rehabilitation, the load limit could be removed. An underwater inspection revealed the bridge was in generally good condition below the waterline.

Rehabilitation of the bridge consisted of removal of the pavement, fill, sidewalks, floor beams, and spandrel wall. The pier stems were repointed to replicate the ornate features of the bridge. Pneumatically-placed mortar was used to repair the outer portion of the rings. New spandrel walls were poured and new floorbeams were placed at the approximate location of the existing beams. The arch was backfilled with new select backfill. A new concrete slab spans the new floorbeams and includes five-foot sidewalks. Decorative concrete Texas railing was used to match the existing railing. In fact, all bridges over the St. Joseph River in the city of South Bend have this railing style.

Construction inspection was also provided for the rehabilitation. Special attention was given to the rise of the arch after the deck load was removed in order to adjust the deck pour screed elevations. Structural calculations were performed to achieve a proper profile grade and to make sure the bridge could tolerate the increased loads of construction equipment.

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Bridge 207 over Big Eagle Creek

September 8, 2014

Bridge 207 is a single-span (112’) Pratt Through-Truss steel bridge that carries O’Neal Road over Big Eagle Creek. The bridge originally had a timber plank deck and the steel superstructure was supported on a steel caisson abutment and a concrete wall-type abutment. According to the available records, this steel truss bridge was originally built around 1900.

At the start of this project, the truss bridge had a 3-ton load limit posted. However, the significant deterioration observed on several steel members below the deck made it necessary for Boone County to close the bridge to all vehicular traffic.

Lochmueller Group (Lochgroup) prepared comprehensive bridge restoration plans, specifications, and bid documents. Since original bridge plans could not be located, the rehabilitation included a detailed field inspection and survey to measure the existing bridge framing components and dimensions and to document the existing structural conditions. Restoration plans detailed removal of superstructure members with insufficient load-carrying capacity and replacement with new, high-strength steel members that matched the appearance of the original members. The removal and replacement of these select components increased the load-carrying capacity of the bridge and allowed the county to remove all load-limit postings.

The plans also detailed repairs to damaged bridge components and sections of the bridge railing with replacement pieces closely matching the original appearance. The existing timber plank deck was replaced with a new timber deck capable of supporting the higher vehicular load demands. Project specifications further detailed a full cleaning and repainting of the entire steel truss structure to lengthen the life of the bridge.

Following the completion of the bridge rehabilitation design, Boone County retained Lochgroup to provide construction engineering services. These services included shop drawing reviews and periodic site visits to observe and review construction efforts.

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