Emil Anderson Construction (EAC) was awarded the Southern Interior Construction Association’s 2018 Innovation Award for their work on the Vedder Bridge Project in Chilliwack, B.C. The design-build team at Emil Anderson Construction used a King Post system to cantilever the bridge into place, this allowed works to construct the bridge on land instead of spending thousands of hours working over the river at heights.
The fundamental component of the replacement of the Vedder Bridge was to construct the new bridge on land and launch the bridge into place over the river. This is unique because the Vedder Bridge is an arch, and the arch structure does not have the strength on its own to be cantilevered 60 metres without support on the one end.
To enable launching of the Vedder Bridge, a king-post cable stay support system was used to provide the arch structure with the additional strength needed for the bridge to be launched into place. To the best of the knowledge of any project participants, this is the first arch bridge in the world that has been assembled on land and launched into place using a King Post system.
Traditional methods of construction of a tied-arch bridge would have required thousands of manhours working at heights over the river. By being able to assemble the bridge on land, the hazard of working over the river at heights was significantly reduced. Total manhours at heights working over the river was reduced from over 6,000 hours to less than 100 hours, a reduction of more than 98 per cent.
“When we see project innovations like this being constructed by industry leaders it reminds us that our members are at the forefront of ideas that will greatly improve efficiency and safety in construction going forward. Congratulations to Emil Anderson Construction for winning this year’s award,” says Jason Henderson, SICA CEO.
The bridge was moved into place using four travelling supports, called skid shoes, located at the north end of the bridge. Each skid shoe has a stainless steel sliding surface on the underside of the assembly, and is positioned on a track lined with Teflon pads, enabling the skid shoes to smoothly slide on the support surface. Using a series of hydraulic jacks on each skid shoe, the bridge was picked up off its temporary supports. Once the bridge was picked up and fully supported by the four skid shoes, the bridge was propelled forward by a hydraulic jacking system, in one metre increments at a time.
The Vedder Bridge provides an important transportation link between Chilliwack and adjacent communities as well as recreational areas. The new bridge includes wider travel lanes and shoulders along with two multi-use pathways to accommodate two-way pedestrian and cyclists traffic.
SICA’s Innovation Award is designed to honour and pay tribute to the outstanding contributions made by the companies that make up the SICA membership.