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Pierce Elevated Reconstruction, 1998 OCEA
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The Pierce Elevated is a major arterial freeway in the Central Business District of Houston.  Thirty years after it was opened, the wear and tear of years of supporting 100,000 more vehicles daily than it was originally designed for gave rise to frequent shutdowns and resulted in ever-increasing repair costs (averaging $500,000 per year). The reconstruction project involved removing the existing roadway, replacing beams and caps with precast units, and constructing new deck panels and guardrails. Traylor Brothers was awarded the contract and completed the project in 160 days (thirty days early), earning an early completion bonus of $1.6 million -  a record high for TxDOT.

 

Time savings were achieved through drill innovations, the use of cranes to place precast elements instead of conventional caps casting, and an hour-by-hour schedule for project management. The $30,000 special gang drill was built specifically for the Pierce Elevated Reconstruction. It simultaneously completed four five-foot deep holes down into each column and placed the 1 to 1 ¾ inch diameter reinforcing steel that would be epoxy grouted and tied to the new pier cap, taking only 10 minutes to complete each column. Motorists’ fears of traffic delays and congestion were dispelled as the project provided excellent re-routing while an outside advertising agency kept the public well-informed of the details of the road closure and alternate routes.

Owner: 
Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT)
Engineer: 
Houston District Engineer, Gary Trietsch PE
Contractor:
Traylor Brothers

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