Star City-Osage Road, Bridge, and Highway Improvements, WV

Known locally as Monongahela Boulevard in Star City, US Route 19 is the major connector between I-79 and Morgantown, WV. University of West Virginia Mountaineer football fans knew the route as a bottleneck, where a narrow blue steel truss bridge, built in 1950, funneled four lanes into two. When the West Virginia Department of Transportation’s Division of Highways selected BH to design a replacement structure and major highway approach realignments, the assignment required the highway remain open to the 30,000 motorists who depend on the river crossing every day. BH’s design solution called for continued use of the existing bridge as the first two lanes of the new bridge were constructed. Once the new lanes were in place, explosive charges were used to drop the old bridge into the Monongahela River where crews on barges removed the bridge from the commercial waterway within 24 hours.

BH was responsible for the preliminary and final design of the five-lane replacement structure to carry US Route 19 over the navigable Monongahela River (as well as a railroad, SR 100, and a hike and bike path), the upgrade of a mile of US 19 from two to four lanes on the bridge approaches, the development of roadway and right-of-way plans for the approach roadway, and multi-stage maintenance of traffic plans.

The replacement bridge consists of a four-span continuous multi-steel plate girder superstructure with a 412-foot main span. The girders are haunched at the main river piers using HPS Grade 70W steel in the negative moment regions. The main river piers are founded on twelve 72-inch drilled shafts and are designed for barge impact loads. The design used AASHTO LRFD Bridge Design Specifications. The drilled shafts were designed using Publication No. FHWA-IF-99-025. The project also involved demolition of the existing bridge, the development of roadway and right-of-way plans for the approach roadway, and multi-stage maintenance of traffic plans. The project was expedited to complete final design in less than one year.

After successfully completing design for the bridge and highway, BH was selected to provide a construction consultation. Our tasks included:

  • Shop drawing review for the steel superstructure, modular expansion joints, bearings, stay-in-place metal deck forms, deck drains, downspouts, and bridge railing
  • Construction consultation to review contractor-designed items, construction procedures, and design modifications (contractor-designed items and construction procedures included cofferdams at piers and temporary shoring at abutments, drilled shaft installation plans, erection drawings, railroad protective shielding, and demolition and blasting plan)
  • An in-depth investigation of the contractor’s erection procedure after girder misalignment and differential deflections were observed

Subcontract administration included coordinating and scheduling Crosshole Sonic Logging (CSL) activities and reviewing the CSL contractor’s Caisson Integrity Testing Report.