|PRESERVATION PROJECTS ENHANCE BRIDGE MAINTENANCE ACTIVITIES|
Indiana, Pa. - PennDOT Engineering District 10 announces that bids for two contracts for bridge preservation projects in the district's five counties were recently opened.
The apparent low bidder for the contract for bridge preservation projects in Armstrong, Butler and Indiana counties is Francis J. Palo Inc. of Clarion with a bid of $1,021,871. Five bids were received. Palo Inc. is also the apparent qualified low bidder for the bridge preservation contract in Clarion and Jefferson counties with a bid of $342,219. Six bids were received for that contract.
The bids for the projects, opened in Harrisburg, will be reviewed to ensure all necessary specifications are met, and then the contracts will be awarded to the low bidders who adequately meet those specifications.
Under the contracts, crews will install scour protection and perform related activities at various locations throughout PennDOT District 10's five counties. Scour protection activities include the placement of rock at the base of bridge abutments and piers to protect them from erosion. In some locations, concrete walls may be erected around abutments and concrete may be placed in stream beds at bridges.
The contracts also include provisions for the removal of debris that may restrict bridge openings, causing water to flow more rapidly, which leads to more rapid erosion and structure deterioration.
"Without this scour protection, a bridge may become vulnerable as water erodes its substructure and the foundation around it," said Jim Andrews, district bridge engineer. "This activity plays a vital part in preserving and extending the life of our bridges. Scour protection is a top priority."
In recent years, District 10 has let annual contracts for bridge preservation work. Previous contracts have focused on beam repairs and other activities.
The annual contracts, however, are only the beginning of bridge preservation efforts. Bridge preservation is a regular part of the work carried out by maintenance forces in Armstrong, Butler, Clarion, Indiana and Jefferson counties.
In addition to their own scour protection activities, county maintenance forces clean bridges each spring, clear debris, repair deck surfaces and perform partial and full replacement of smaller structures.
Annual cleaning is necessary to remove salt and other materials used during winter maintenance, which can cause accelerated deterioration. County forces also paint bridges to hinder deterioration.
"Everything our county forces do in this regard is an effort to keep good bridges good," said George W. McAuley, assistant district executive for maintenance. "Each bridge has its own character, and each bridge has its own set of maintenance requirements."
County managers and foremen work with bridge inspectors from the District 10 Office to determine which maintenance activities will be performed, according to the available funding.
"As we continue efforts to reduce the number of structurally deficient bridges in Pennsylvania, maintaining the existing bridge system will play an increasingly important role," said District 10 Executive Joseph P. Dubovi III. "Strategic maintenance on a regular basis is the key to a healthy bridge network now and into the future."
In all, 1,620 bridges are maintained by PennDOT District 10 each year. In 2007, District 10 will spend over $22 million on bridge replacement, preservation and maintenance.
For more information on roadway construction and maintenance operations, access PennDOT's website at www.dot.state.pa.us.