From fractured to flowing --repairing the Diefenbaker Bridge
Prince Albert has only one bridge that crosses the North Saskatchewan River. So when the high-use of winter de-icing salts finally took its toll on the Diefenbaker Bridge, it was no small matter. Looking at a major rehabilitation effort to repair the significantly deteriorated bridge deck, concrete barriers and median, the City of Prince Albert needed someone they could trust to quickly solve this problem. So they called us.
We immediately got to work inspecting the damage. The bridge had actually fractured—there was a major crack running from the bottom flange nearly the full height of the girder—one of the largest fractures of its kind. We determined that we could repair the structure by jacking and splicing the fractured girder and that other potential CIF locations in the structure should be repaired.
We went on to implement these repairs and perform live load testing on the adjacent northbound structure and the repaired southbound structure. To repair the structure, we supported the fractured bridge on steel towers constructed on a river berm and raised to its original position. A section of the girder was then cut out and replaced with new steel and connected to the temporarily supported horizontal and vertical bracing. Understanding the importance of getting this bridge up and running again as quickly as possible, we worked overtime to deliver the project to the city in time for the December holidays.
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