Micropiles Prove Advantageous Over Drilled Shafts For Merchants Railroad Bridge Rehabilitation

Hill, Jeffrey R.
Organization: Deep Foundations Institute
Pages: 7
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2006
To extend the life of the Merchants Railroad Bridge crossing the Mississippi River in St. Louis, MO, the owner implemented a rehabilitation and reconstruction project. The Merchants Bridge provides a key link in the transcontinental railroad system. The bridge is of local importance to the Terminal Railroad Association ? providing a link between St Louis and a rail switching yard in Venice, IL. The intent of the bridge rehabilitation is to keep the Merchants Bridge in service, even though the bridge was originally constructed in the 1890?s. The project involved replacing the East and West approach deck truss spans with new deck girder spans. The rehabilitation program required construction of new concrete piers to support the new spans. In order to reduce the track down time to two, ten day single track shutdowns, the specifications required that all foundation and substructure work be completed while leaving the existing spans in place. The preliminary bridge design specified rock-socketed drilled shaft foundations. Drilled shafts proved to be challenging due to working from beneath the existing bridge, a high water table, utilities, a flood wall, and existing rail way lines. The micropile alternative was technically appropriate given the access limitations, shortened the foundation rehabilitation schedule by several weeks, and realized a significant cost savings to the Owner.
Full Article Download:
(281 kb)