July 20, 2018 05:56 PM
The Minnesota Department of Transportation believes they can save Minnesotans time and money with an innovative method to repair bridges.
Bridges in the state take beating from vehicle traffic and corrosive road salt. That's where MnDOT engineers like Paul Pilarski come in.
"These bridges that need repair are not in the country," he explained. "We're in the metro and that's constant traffic."
Back in 2010, crews found two locations of severe beam deterioration on the Highway 169 Nine Mile Creek Bridge near Edina and Minnetonka. Instead of replacing the beams, MnDOT did things a little differently by placing steel reinforcement cages around the damaged beam ends and then encasing them with concrete.
"It's repairing a beam, enlarging a beam end so it's robust enough to take the load," Pilarski said.
Pilarski added the method of repair eliminates the need to shut down traffic and costs only about $10,000.
"You can see the obvious benefit there," he said.
MnDOT monitored the work for years, and when the Nine Mile Creek Bridge was finally replaced last summer, it presented an opportunity.
"Bringing that beam into the lab and testing it alongside beams that were not deteriorated really gave us confidence that this is a good repair," Pilarski said. "We're not interrupting traffic, and we're keeping people safe by making these repairs."
It's a method MnDOT now plans to use more often.
Updated: July 20, 2018 05:56 PM
Created: July 20, 2018 03:32 PM
Copyright 2018 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company