As part of the I-10 Express Lanes Project, crews are replacing, widening and improving 18 bridges within a 10-mile stretch of the I-10 Freeway. But no two bridges are alike, and each requires precision, planning and synchronization of crews and materials.
In January, crews completed the placement of 14 precast concrete girders above the eastbound and westbound I-10 Freeway lanes at Vineyard Avenue in Ontario. The concrete girders were placed as the primary support for the future southbound Vineyard Avenue bridge.
Girder installation is a major milestone for bridge reconstruction, marking the bridge as approximately 50 percent complete. Vineyard Avenue is the fifth bridge to undergo reconstruction as part of this project.
While lane closures and detours may be disruptive to the traveling public, they’re necessary for the safety of crews and to complete specific operations, and girder installation is no exception.
The project’s contractor used an exclusive trucking company to haul the girders more than 160 miles from northern California to Ontario. But the girders didn’t arrive on just any trailer like a flatbed that we’re used to seeing. Multiple trucks were used and due to size and weight, special permits issued by the California Highway Patrol were required.
A specialized crane was used to lift each girder from the trucks and place them on the top of the bridge. Nearly 100 people were on-site during the two-night operation to install the girders, including members of traffic control, truck drivers, crane operators, spotters, flaggers, welders and inspectors.
Each girder measured roughly 111 feet, one third the height of the Statue of Liberty, and weighed 105,000 pounds. The combined weight of the 14 girders was nearly 1.5 million pounds – the equivalent of 100 school buses.
Construction began in spring 2020 and is expected to be completed in mid 2023. Improvements include widening the existing I-10 Freeway between the Los Angeles/San Bernardino County line and I-15 to include two tolled express lanes in each direction. In addition, lanes to assist drivers getting on and off the freeway, known as auxiliary lanes. will be constructed in selected locations. For more information, visit goSBCTA.com/i10corridor.com.