Best Bridge Superstructure
The 1.2-mile-long U.S. 59 Loop and I-35 project in Laredo, Texas marks the first time in the town’s history where precast has been used to construct interior bents in a bridge’s substructure.
Before the Direct Connector project commenced, the general contractor proposed using cutting-edge precast technology to build the Laredo, Texas connector’s supporting structure. First, the use of precast creates more durable bridges and accelerates project schedules. Additionally, this process also eliminates many hours of elevated construction activities that would normally be necessary for cast-in-place construction, significantly reducing workers’ exposure to potential falls. Ultimately, the Texas Department of Transportation liked the idea of speeding up the construction process in a safe manner while minimizing impacts on the traveling public.
Bexar Concrete Works provided TX-54 girders, caps, capitals, and 170,000 square feet of precast, or cast-in-place construction, deck panels for this project, resulting in a quick and efficient project completion. As a result, the Texas Department of Transportation in the Laredo District views this Direct Connector Project as a new learning tool and plans on using more precast construction practices on future interchanges.