Replacing the Kenneth F. Burns bridge using a unique post-tensioning system
The communities of Shrewsbury and Worcester had a waterway in common—Lake Quinsigamond—and an old bridge that needed replacement.
As lead designer, we got to work. We designed two shallow, post-tensioned, steel-deck, arch bridges. The eastbound and westbound bridges each have five spans with a total length of nearly 870 feet. The unique post-tensioning system used about six million pounds of thrust. The bridges shine during the day, and at night, they’re lit up with a programmable, color-changing LED lighting system. The lights illuminate the arches and tall sail sculptures at both ends, and the whole area glows.
Named in honor of longtime Shrewsbury High School crew coach, police chief, and US Olympic athlete Kenneth F. Burns, the bridge has assumed icon status and has become more than just a means to get across the lake. The project also involved upgraded roads and intersections, improved accessibility for bicyclists and pedestrians, and new stormwater treatment. These features, along with the bridge, are shared between the Town of Shrewsbury and City of Worcester.
The design-build team used design and construction techniques that allowed this complex project to be finished over three months—ahead of schedule. With the team’s help, residents of Shrewsbury and Worcester now share more than just a bridge. They have new ways to make a connection.
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