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Steel Shots: Birth of a Steel Centurion
Posted by Tasha Weiss on September 14, 2012 at 11:22 AM.


A future steel centurion is born! The Big Rock Interchange (I-430/I-630) rebuilding project in Little Rock, Ark., last month displayed AISC’s “Steel Centurion” emblem in a banner on one of its massive steel plate girders, which read “Birth of Another 100 Year Steel Bridge.” (Click on the photo for a closer look at the banner.) The sign is a celebration of the durability and strength of steel bridges as well as the commitment to remain in service for more than a century. Photo: Gorman Photography


The Big Rock Interchange (I-430/I-630) rebuilding project in Little Rock, Ark., last month completed a 20-day accelerated construction phase, which required seven traffic lane shifts to install more than three dozen massive steel plate girders that provide the framework for the interchange’s new flyover ramps.


Two 500-ton cranes were brought in to lift the 9-ft-deep plate girders into place. Because of their weight and size, each crane was assembled on-site, requiring a total of 16 additional semi tractor-trailers to carry parts and other support equipment.


The steel plate girders were fabricated by W&W/AFCO Steel, an AISC member/AISC certified fabricator. The project’s general contractor is the joint venture team of Manhattan Road & Bridge and Weaver-Bailey Contractors.


The original interchange opened in 1977. Traffic volumes on I-430 and I-630 in the vicinity of the interchange have quadrupled since. The construction work underway to modify the interchange will more efficiently accommodate current and projected traffic volumes.


For information about the Big Rock Interchange project, visit the Arkansas
State Highway and Transportation Department website


Want to learn more about existing U.S. Steel Centurions? You’ll find them in MSC. The quarterly series offers a testament to notable accomplishments of prior generations and celebrates the durability and strength of steel by showcasing bridges more than 100 years old that are still in service today. The latest Steel Centurion, the Erie Canal Bridge, is featured in this month’s issue. Click here to read the article.

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