Macon Design-Build Bridge Replacements

MACON, GA

Neel-Schaffer/Wright Brothers team has success in Georgia

Neel-Schaffer was the lead designer for the Wright Brothers/Neel-Schaffer Design-Build team for this Georgia Department of Transportation project to replace the bridges on Pio Nono Avenue and College Street over the Norfolk Southern Railway. The replacements were needed to provide adequate vertical clearance to accommodate double-stack rail cars on the Norfolk Southern Railway.

This was the second Design-Build bridge replacement project on which Neel-Schaffer has teamed with Wright Brothers Construction Company. Another project to replace six rural bridges at various sites in Georgia is ongoing.

The Macon project was put on an aggressive design-build schedule, with all vertical clearance restrictions to be in place by June 30, 2020. Construction on the Pio Nono Avenue bridge was completed in 25 days and the bridge was reopened to traffic on June 2, 2020. The College Street bridge was completed in February 2020.

Neel-Schaffer provided overall project management, monthly CPM project schedule updates, roadway design, bridge design, traffic signal and permitting, all plan preparation, including as-built drawings, and the coordination of subconsultants.

The Pio Nono Avenue project included the demolition and replacement of the existing bridge super-structure and reconstruction of the urban intersection with Roff Avenue. The vertical clearance was increased by building up the existing bent caps and utilizing a cored slab super-structure that was shallower than the existing. The existing roadway was raised in the vicinity of the bridge in order to accommodate the new bridge elevation. The signalized intersection with Roff Avenue needed to be reconstructed due to increasing the bridge clearance over the railroad. Roff Avenue is located only 50 feet from the south end of the bridge. The existing AGL line on the bridge was cut, capped and reinstalled through coordination efforts.

The College Street project included the demolition and replace­ment of the existing historic brick arch structure over the Northern Southern Railway. Our design incorporated bricks from the historic Macon Railroad Viaduct as decorative panels on the barrier walls of the new College Street Bridge.

In addition to the Railroad’s vertical clearance requirements, the horizontal clearance required the con­struction of a crashwall at each end of the bridge. Additionally, the horizontal clearance under the bridge was increased to accommodate a future second rail line. Neel-Schaf­fer utilized tie-back walls and soil nail walls supporting the bridge end bents. Significant utility coordination occurred in order to raise the AT&T fiber optic line (and keep it functional during construction) and relocate power poles owned by Georgia Power.

Another challenge included minimal residential and commercial right-of-way in the historic area, and coordinating the construction schedule with a fire station at one of the bridge.

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