Creativity and leading-edge solutions are some hallmarks of VHB’s approach to projects. When the Maine Turnpike Authority (MTA) turned to VHB for assistance rehabilitating the Winthrop Street Bridge in Hallowell, VHB rose to the challenge, using Accelerated Bridge Construction (ABC) – a first for the turnpike authority – to meet a demanding schedule.

Carrying about 6,000 cars per day, the 60-year-old Winthrop Street Bridge provides a critical connection between the rural side of town and downtown Hallowell.

Rehabilitating the structure required closing the roadway and detouring traffic through an already-at-capacity route. To minimize disruption to travelers, VHB worked with the MTA to use ABC and meet the planned 55-day schedule.

“Professional design firms like ours are increasingly adopting ABC techniques,” said Tim Bryant, VHB’s Director of Structural Engineering in South Portland.

“We’re taking advantage of stronger and more durable materials, prefabrication strategies, and advances in technology and equipment to finish bridge projects quickly and safely – in this case, in roughly one-third of what had previously been the normal time frame.”

For this project, these new technologies and advancements included more durable materials such as full-depth precast concrete deck panels, ultra high-performance concrete, and precast pier cap extensions. Throughout the project, VHB worked closely with the turnpike authority and other agencies to ensure that the deadline was met.

With hard work and dedication, the project was finished and opened to the public 10 days ahead of schedule, on Oct. 20, 2017.