A record-breaking operation was carried out to move Utah's new Sam White Bridge into position in a single night. At 108m, it is believed to be the longest two-span bridge ever moved by self-propelled modular transporters (SPMTs) in the western hemisphere.

The work was carried out as part of Utah Department of Transportation's Utah County I-15 corridor expansion. The contractor is Provo River Constructors (PRC) and the specialist moving operation was carried out by Sarens.

Approximately 1,000 members of the public witnessed the move. In addition, state officials, more than 100 delegates from other departments of transportation and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), and transportation professionals from as far away as China watched as two sets of SPMTs lifted the 108m-long, 1,724t structure 6.4m in the air. The bridge was then moved from its construction site into position approximately 150m away on the other side of the freeway before being lowered into place.

Crews set the bridge into place at approximately 4am on Sunday and reopened the freeway at 7am, three hours ahead of schedule.

“Building the bridge using accelerated bridge construction eliminated the need for as many as 10 full freeway closures,” said project director Dal Hawks. “This reduced traffic delays and benefited the state’s economy by keeping people, goods and services moving while the bridge was being constructed."

Constructing the bridge using this technology helps meet the project’s aggressive three-year timeline. The bridge is one of 59 that will be new, rebuilt or modified under the US$1.725 billion project by December 2012. The state-funded project will reconstruct 38.6km of the I-15 from Lehi to Spanish Fork to meet transportation demands through to 2030.

Sam White Bridge is UDOT’s 23rd move using accelerated bridge construction. This is nearly double the number moved by all other states combined, according to UDOT. The FHWA designated UDOT’s move as a “showcase” event for leaders to learn how more about the technology and how it can be applied to other transportation systems in the country.

Further pictures are in our news story about the operation.