AHTD Heavy Bridge Engineers Working Around the Clock to Repair Damaged Columns on Highway 1B Overpass
JONESBORO, AR Structural engineers that make up the Heavy Bridge Maintenance Section are working around the clock to reestablish enough integrity to damaged areas of the State Highway 1B overpass to allow traffic above and below the bridge to resume as soon as possible, according to Arkansas State Highway and Transportation (AHTD) officials.
Crews have constructed a temporary timber support system upon which a steel beam has been placed to support jacks that will be used to elevate the bridge deck. A total of four of the bridge's steel beams will be elevated to allow work underneath on the columns as well as the pier cap (the horizontal concrete section).
Work will continue into the night and Department officials anticipate enough progress to allow traffic to resume on both lanes of northbound Interstate 555 by morning, if not sooner. Once engineers have determined the bridge is stable enough to allow it, traffic will resume across the overpass. At this time it is not known how soon after traffic resumes on I-555 that traffic will resume on the overpass.
The overpass is a five-lane, north-south crossing of I-555. Traffic control devices have already been installed on the structure that will allow both directions of traffic to each use one lane of the two southbound lanes.
The four structural bridge beams have been determined to be in good condition and replacements or splices are not anticipated.