Dry Branch Bridge
Kanawha County, West Virginia
ORDERS Construction has a history of building projects where cutting edge, experimental materials are specified. We also specialize in difficult builds, where space is limited and site constraints make construction nearly impossible. The recently completed Dry Branch Bridge required our expertise in both of these areas.
Precast foundations and Hybrid-Composite Beams (HCB) served as the skeleton for this innovative bridge project located in Kanawha County, West Virginia. The Dry Branch Bridge utilizes a Fiberglass Reinforced Polymer outer shell commonly referred to as FRP. This shell provides shear strength and encapsulates the tension and compression elements which are steel reinforcement and a concrete arch core. Essentially, the HCB is a tied arch in a fiberglass box where 90% of the strength is provided by steel and concrete. The encapsulating FRP shell provides maximum protection from the elements for the steel and concrete, which give the structure an anticipated service life of 100 years with minimal maintenance.
The Dry Branch Bridge, with a span of 107 feet, is longest structure of its kind installed to date in the world and the first of its kind in West Virginia. Construction was complicated by the structure's location directly under Interstate 64, around multiple utilities lines, and beside an active railroad track. Our crane operators rose to the challenge and set the beams in place with the skill and care of a surgeon, staying just below the bottom cord of the existing structure and away from other obstructions.
Challenges: Install an experimental bridge system under an active interstate