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RS&H Helps Construct North Carolina’s First Scissor Bridges

July 27, 2018      

Tags: Transportation

When Billy Smith arrived for his job interview at RS&H, Michael Davis, his soon-to-be boss, took him to the first scissor bridge in North Carolina, the construction of which was overseen by RS&H associates in 2015. Little did Billy know, just about a year later, he would be overseeing the construction of the second such bridge in North Carolina, connecting U.S. Highway 70 to North Carolina-147 in Durham, N.C.

Scissor Bridge, Explained

A scissor bridge is different from a traditional bridge in that its girders run perpendicular to the traffic crossing above, as opposed to running parallel as they do with most bridges. This type of bridge is rarely built because it utilizes only a small portion of the deck’s surface area to accommodate travel lanes and is typically only cost-effective when road factors necessitate the bridge be built at a tighter than 90-degree skew.

In some cases, a scissor bridge is the only option, as was the case with both the East End Connector and the first scissor bridge in North Carolina, located on the I-295 and All American Freeway Intersection project in Fayetteville.

In both projects, the bridge needed to connect two roads intersecting at very tight alignments. NCDOT had two options: reconfigure the two roads – which would mean development of additional land – or the use of a scissor bridge, which would leave the two roads as is.

The Department chose the less obtrusive option.

Scissor bridge in construction.

Expansion into North Carolina

The Transportation-Construction Management practice’s expansion into North Carolina began with the I-295 and All-American Freeway Intersection’s scissor bridge and has extended into the second scissor bridge, due in large part to the reputation associates built during the initial project.

“The first scissor bridge definitely gave the Department confidence and helped position us for this next bridge,” said Michael.

In the construction management role, associates oversee various parts of the project, from the substructure to the superstructure, along with the associated roadway improvements.

“We check everything – and I mean everything,” said Billy.

As they ensure specifications are met, our associates serve as a critical link between the project’s design and the construction taking place in the field, often helping to overcome changes in the field.

The East End Connector scissor bridge, in particular, has gone smoothly, though, says Billy.

“It’s a fun, interesting project to work on, too,” says Billy. “I’ve had a lot of jobs over the years, and this one here at RS&H is by far the best.”

Construction site.

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