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Author Topic: ORIGINAL Interstate Bridge Designs From Every State  (Read 607 times)

thenetwork

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ORIGINAL Interstate Bridge Designs From Every State
« on: November 28, 2019, 11:10:19 AM »

Back in the days when building new interstates were at their peak, states usually used a standard design (columns, arches, guardrails, etc...) when building their bridges and yet looked different from other states' bridges.

In the 21st century, with bridge widenings, better designs, replacements due to age, and some municipalities wanting one-of-a-kind styled overpasses, many of these "standard issue" bridges are slowly disappearing from the interstate/freeway system.

What did your state's 1960's-1970's standard-issue bridge look like? 

Here is from my birth state in Ohio:

https://goo.gl/maps/bGEZ516niCbvWxeR9

These were very Plain Jane, IMO.  Over the decades, some of the columns were "wrapped" with a thicker concrete column.

The Ohio Turnpike bridges used squarer columns:

https://www.google.com/maps/@41.3034748,-81.7353762,3a,75y,170.32h,92.36t/data=!3m10!1e1!3m8!1s95DRSXiAUTJnQGHFHWUPiw!2e0!6s%2F%2Fgeo3.ggpht.com%2Fcbk%3Fpanoid%3D95DRSXiAUTJnQGHFHWUPiw%26output%3Dthumbnail%26cb_client%3Dmaps_sv.tactile.gps%26thumb%3D2%26w%3D203%26h%3D100%26yaw%3D3.5403216%26pitch%3D0%26thumbfov%3D100!7i13312!8i6656!9m2!1b1!2i51


Where I live now in Colorado:

https://goo.gl/maps/QDVBNyY6zQEA53vcA

Subtle arches over the freeway, with columns that look like toothpicks holding up the bridge.


I know of some other states with real unique designs, but I'll let the forum fill in the remaining states/provinces.
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MarkF

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Re: ORIGINAL Interstate Bridge Designs From Every State
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2019, 08:10:50 PM »

I was always interested in the differences in road design between the states.  I had a section on this in my old website:
https://web.archive.org/web/20111104053055/http://members.cox.net/mkpl/bridge/otherbr.html

Around 1980-1990, it seems like most the states had gone to the "Jersey barrier" design.

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sprjus4

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Re: ORIGINAL Interstate Bridge Designs From Every State
« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2019, 08:22:55 PM »

For Virginia over the years, generally. Differs in some areas, for instance you may see some of the 1990s designs in 80s construction in areas, etc, but it gives you a general idea of how the designs have shifted over the years.

1950s - 1960s -
https://www.google.com/maps/@36.6710876,-77.5559275,3a,75y,355.97h,81.35t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s-dVZ0fGGHEYBwMfERdLT6A!2e0!7i16384!8i8192
https://www.google.com/maps/@36.6010423,-78.1528423,3a,75y,38.93h,82.88t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sTBdUocEmN5kdhbku0WyRqg!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

1970s - early 1990s -
https://www.google.com/maps/@37.4787703,-76.9163204,3a,49.2y,298.52h,86.26t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1smmXaUblEwR1Q1paOWiz2fQ!2e0!7i16384!8i8192
https://www.google.com/maps/@36.9786612,-77.3925397,3a,75y,4.38h,80.65t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sh0JjQi8_MMB-D0pGYXYlmw!2e0!7i16384!8i8192
https://www.google.com/maps/@36.8757337,-76.4332064,3a,75y,10.49h,82.54t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sZO1BwODEQb5OzvgnOk47VQ!2e0!7i16384!8i8192
https://www.google.com/maps/@37.1958043,-77.3212242,3a,71.2y,71.48h,86.31t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sPXclrDGlagPXwjA15KZmAw!2e0!7i16384!8i8192

Mid 1990s - 2010s -
https://www.google.com/maps/@37.7590909,-77.4592842,3a,73.5y,348.33h,84.92t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s51dWtPRf5tW5eTEG1yEjKQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656
https://www.google.com/maps/@36.7732079,-76.2550432,3a,75y,56.87h,86.93t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sayCR7c7u-cDbk1jCeeGjbQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

Newest Bridges -
https://www.google.com/maps/@36.9334649,-76.2960629,3a,75y,330.85h,83.3t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1smrYuG1SIsZMF49tlSM7b0w!2e0!7i16384!8i8192
https://www.google.com/maps/@36.9344925,-76.3183268,3a,75y,171.02h,81.69t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1smZBZDEI1FV8UD-YrLEFDEw!2e0!7i16384!8i8192
https://www.google.com/maps/@36.7477667,-76.2849734,3a,75y,131.6h,78.3t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sEBi3pKn4PKcUeFmCalrpiA!2e0!7i16384!8i8192

As for railings, the change over to the "jersey barrier" style was in the early 80s.
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thenetwork

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Re: ORIGINAL Interstate Bridge Designs From Every State
« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2019, 09:20:11 PM »

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sprjus4

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Re: ORIGINAL Interstate Bridge Designs From Every State
« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2019, 09:24:12 PM »

North Carolina:
https://maps.app.goo.gl/36XFHBaKBZdBi5sa8
That particular segment of I-77 didn't open until 1977.

Here's one from 1961 on I-40 outside Marion, one of those type of bridges that looks like it's going to collapse at any minute -
https://www.google.com/maps/@35.6443675,-81.9851262,3a,49.8y,227.14h,83.65t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sYDzhK2qi1SAse4tBRhzxig!2e0!7i13312!8i6656
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Beltway

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Re: ORIGINAL Interstate Bridge Designs From Every State
« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2019, 10:38:23 PM »

For Virginia over the years, generally. Differs in some areas, for instance you may see some of the 1990s designs in 80s construction in areas, etc, but it gives you a general idea of how the designs have shifted over the years.
[]
As for railings, the change over to the "jersey barrier" style was in the early 80s.
That design was almost universal from the late 1970s until very recently.  The mid-1970s 22-mile I-495 widening utilized that.
https://www.google.com/maps/@38.7962979,-77.1351909,3a,15y,222.8h,81.64t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sVhyvDQ5uijYPQLtm7ftjXQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656
The metal railing went away a few years later, but kept the New Jersey shape (that was actually a GM Barrier, had a thicker base slope).

Recent years they have gone back to a vertical barrier with a railing on top... and I am not sure why.
https://www.google.com/maps/@37.5291384,-77.3113889,3a,30y,235.48h,85.78t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sRplA3-fbz2ceHUgCArLw1g!2e0!7i16384!8i8192
Probably a result of more crash testing research that didn't reveal any difference in safety, and cheaper to build.
 
« Last Edit: November 28, 2019, 10:41:57 PM by Beltway »
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noelbotevera

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Re: ORIGINAL Interstate Bridge Designs From Every State
« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2019, 11:16:26 PM »

I'm sure Beltway has more knowledge on this, since it seems he's worked for PennDOT, but I'll give this a shot. Also note that I'll try to cover how PA's bridge designs have evolved, but it won't be perfect.

1940:
The PA Turnpike, being the first freeway in Pennsylvania, wrote its own book on building bridges. It seems the Turnpike would keep this style throughout its construction and expansion into the '50s. Copped this from exploringpahistory.com - has a postcard of the Turnpike that seems to be dated sometime around its opening.


1953:
While the Interstate system was being fleshed out, PA took the initiative to upgrade a few of its US Routes into freeways. Some Interstates were grandfathered into this primitive freeway system, such as I-83 around Harrisburg and I-78 in the area of Exits 13-17. This particular example comes from the Lehigh Valley Thruway, which was going to be I-78. Other bridges along US 22 have a different style, but seem to date from the early '50s. PADOH (Department of Highways, basically PennDOT before 1970) seems to have copied the Pennsylvania Turnpike's bridge design along this stretch, with few - if any - modifications.

1960:
As the Interstate system comes into being, PA's designs become less intricate. This style is common along I-81 all the way to Harrisburg, and I've seen many examples of this around the state.
Example

1977:
Nonetheless, PA's designs continue to improve, but have practically stagnated by this point. The I-81/US 322 interchange illustrates this point, having a very similar look to the early '60s bridges along I-81.
Example

1989:
Even in newer Interstate construction, PennDOT mostly sticks to familiar territory. Despite being a product of the late '80s, I-78's bridges in the Allentown area could pass for something in the '60s or '70s.
Example

2001:
Though you could say some improvements have been made within the last forty years. In the new millennium, incremental improvements seem to be made.
Example
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sprjus4

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Re: ORIGINAL Interstate Bridge Designs From Every State
« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2019, 12:06:35 AM »

Recent years they have gone back to a vertical barrier with a railing on top... and I am not sure why.
https://www.google.com/maps/@37.5291384,-77.3113889,3a,30y,235.48h,85.78t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sRplA3-fbz2ceHUgCArLw1g!2e0!7i16384!8i8192
Probably a result of more crash testing research that didn't reveal any difference in safety, and cheaper to build.
It varies it seems nowadays.

The I-64 Peninsula Widening Phase #2 project completed in April 2019 utilized the typical jersey barrier style without railing.

The recently completed I-564 Intermodal Connector project has typical jersey barrier style without railing on its I-564 flyover, the wetlands bridge, and Hampton Blvd overpass.

Not VDOT, but Chesapeake's Dominion Blvd expansion also features the typical jersey barrier style without railing on the Great Bridge Blvd, Bainbridge Blvd Relocated, Cedar Rd, and US-17 North to VA-168 South overpasses, but the Veterans Bridge piece of the project utilizes the barrier with rail.

Also Chesapeake, and not interstate or freeway, but they replaced this bridge in Deep Creek a few years back as apart of a 4-lane widening project, and it has the railing design.

VDOT's I-95 Meherrin River bridge replacement project completed late last year features the jersey barrier design without rail.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2019, 12:08:45 AM by sprjus4 »
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Beltway

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Re: ORIGINAL Interstate Bridge Designs From Every State
« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2019, 01:42:21 AM »

Recent years they have gone back to a vertical barrier with a railing on top... and I am not sure why.
https://www.google.com/maps/@37.5291384,-77.3113889,3a,30y,235.48h,85.78t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sRplA3-fbz2ceHUgCArLw1g!2e0!7i16384!8i8192
Probably a result of more crash testing research that didn't reveal any difference in safety, and cheaper to build.
It varies it seems nowadays.
The I-64 Peninsula Widening Phase #2 project completed in April 2019 utilized the typical jersey barrier style without railing.
The recently completed I-564 Intermodal Connector project has typical jersey barrier style without railing on its I-564 flyover, the wetlands bridge, and Hampton Blvd overpass.
Not VDOT, but Chesapeake's Dominion Blvd expansion also features the typical jersey barrier style without railing on the Great Bridge Blvd, Bainbridge Blvd Relocated, Cedar Rd, and US-17 North to VA-168 South overpasses, but the Veterans Bridge piece of the project utilizes the barrier with rail.
Also Chesapeake, and not interstate or freeway, but they replaced this bridge in Deep Creek a few years back as apart of a 4-lane widening project, and it has the railing design.
VDOT's I-95 Meherrin River bridge replacement project completed late last year features the jersey barrier design without rail.
The bridge in Deep Creek is an urban design with a sidewalk, and the vertical barrier with a metal rail is more common in that setting.  Similar to the VA-147 Huguenot Bridge.

The others you listed appear to be the F-Shape Barrier, which has a smaller and lower flange than the New Jersey Barrier --
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F-Shape_barrier

The F-shape barrier is a concrete crash barrier, originally designed to divide lanes of traffic on a highway.  It is a modification of the widely used Jersey barrier design, and is generally considered safer.

The F-shape and the Jersey-shape have the same slopes, but the distance from the ground to the slope break point of the F-shape is 255 millimetres (10.0 in), which is 75 millimetres (3.0 in) lower than the Jersey-shape.  This lower slope break point reduces vehicle lift, improving the barrier's performance.
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thenetwork

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Re: ORIGINAL Interstate Bridge Designs From Every State
« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2019, 11:47:30 AM »

As the OP, I wasnt even thinking of what was atop the bridges (guardrails, barriers, etc..).   I was looking more at the support designs that were holding the bridges up.
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Re: ORIGINAL Interstate Bridge Designs From Every State
« Reply #10 on: November 29, 2019, 03:52:47 PM »

As the OP, I wasnt even thinking of what was atop the bridges (guardrails, barriers, etc..).   I was looking more at the support designs that were holding the bridges up.
That is called the substructure. 

Some of us were commenting on parts of the superstructure.
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Big John

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Re: ORIGINAL Interstate Bridge Designs From Every State
« Reply #11 on: November 29, 2019, 04:10:24 PM »

^^ The deck is the riding surface mostly on top, the superstructure carry the weigth on many bridges and is below the deck, the substructure is mostly under the superstructure connecting it to the ground/steel pilings.  Guardrails and barriers carry no strength of the bridge and the closest consideration a part of the deck.
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Re: ORIGINAL Interstate Bridge Designs From Every State
« Reply #12 on: November 29, 2019, 05:47:13 PM »

I'm sure Beltway has more knowledge on this, since it seems he's worked for PennDOT, but I'll give this a shot. Also note that I'll try to cover how PA's bridge designs have evolved, but it won't be perfect.

1940:
The PA Turnpike, being the first freeway in Pennsylvania, wrote its own book on building bridges. It seems the Turnpike would keep this style throughout its construction and expansion into the '50s. Copped this from exploringpahistory.com - has a postcard of the Turnpike that seems to be dated sometime around its opening.


1953:
While the Interstate system was being fleshed out, PA took the initiative to upgrade a few of its US Routes into freeways. Some Interstates were grandfathered into this primitive freeway system, such as I-83 around Harrisburg and I-78 in the area of Exits 13-17. This particular example comes from the Lehigh Valley Thruway, which was going to be I-78. Other bridges along US 22 have a different style, but seem to date from the early '50s. PADOH (Department of Highways, basically PennDOT before 1970) seems to have copied the Pennsylvania Turnpike's bridge design along this stretch, with few - if any - modifications.

1960:
As the Interstate system comes into being, PA's designs become less intricate. This style is common along I-81 all the way to Harrisburg, and I've seen many examples of this around the state.
Example

1977:
Nonetheless, PA's designs continue to improve, but have practically stagnated by this point. The I-81/US 322 interchange illustrates this point, having a very similar look to the early '60s bridges along I-81.
Example

1989:
Even in newer Interstate construction, PennDOT mostly sticks to familiar territory. Despite being a product of the late '80s, I-78's bridges in the Allentown area could pass for something in the '60s or '70s.
Example

2001:
Though you could say some improvements have been made within the last forty years. In the new millennium, incremental improvements seem to be made.
Example

1940: the pa turnpike did use them. 1950s they started to phase it out, once they reached the outer extensions they just stopped building them, hence why they seem to stop near philly and ohio.
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Re: ORIGINAL Interstate Bridge Designs From Every State
« Reply #13 on: December 03, 2019, 10:39:25 AM »

Most of the oldest bridges I see on Utah interstates tend to look like this. These ones in particular are likely the oldest bridges on I-84:

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Re: ORIGINAL Interstate Bridge Designs From Every State
« Reply #14 on: December 03, 2019, 05:43:50 PM »

New York...really depends on who built the thing and where it was built. But I'll try and link some typical designs.

New York City and the surrounding metro have a few styles:
There's the stone-faced arch (here on the Cross Bronx): https://goo.gl/maps/4nVK5GLQBQTQo3oK9
This is standard on the BQE: https://goo.gl/maps/4LbLNf1n7PLsBSbv9
The Van Wyck: https://goo.gl/maps/Q8hm5yoKAWPr5zFs8

Moving north...
This was the typical Thruway design: https://goo.gl/maps/n7Uo5a8hfbiGxoRs8
...but the Thruway also had a handful like this: https://goo.gl/maps/AJJ4UvvYAt6n4ZpA9
An original bridge on I-684: https://goo.gl/maps/Fqfj9j6qX8e8jjJQ7
A lot of NYSDPW bridges Upstate looked like this: https://goo.gl/maps/yy6NkGCtNM3Frr6E7
Mid-60s version, complete with original railing: https://goo.gl/maps/XSF8P9kUVUCwaNUT6
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plain

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Re: ORIGINAL Interstate Bridge Designs From Every State
« Reply #15 on: December 03, 2019, 10:56:50 PM »

For Virginia over the years, generally. Differs in some areas, for instance you may see some of the 1990s designs in 80s construction in areas, etc, but it gives you a general idea of how the designs have shifted over the years.

1950s - 1960s -
https://www.google.com/maps/@36.6710876,-77.5559275,3a,75y,355.97h,81.35t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s-dVZ0fGGHEYBwMfERdLT6A!2e0!7i16384!8i8192
https://www.google.com/maps/@36.6010423,-78.1528423,3a,75y,38.93h,82.88t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sTBdUocEmN5kdhbku0WyRqg!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

Apparently there was a time in the mid to late 1950's that had a specific design on the bridges. Study the Dumbarton Rd overpass on I-95 just south of today's Exit 81 (US 1). This is obviously an original RPT bridge, one of several left today. While there were other bridges in the state with similar railings up to about 1964, the columns under the bridge were a different story...

The original Hampton approach to the HRBT (today's I-64) had bridges with the same railings and columns as those on the RPT. While all of the original railings there are gone now, you can still find original columns underneath the freeway in at least 2 places, on N. King St and on Rip Rap Rd. There's additional columns there from the 1988 widening, but you can easily tell the originals.

Quote
As for railings, the change over to the "jersey barrier" style was in the early 80s.


Both I-295 (the US 60, the SR 627 and the SR 640 overpasses) and the US 17/258 James River Bridge are good examples of when this change occurred.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2019, 11:37:54 PM by plain »
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Re: ORIGINAL Interstate Bridge Designs From Every State
« Reply #16 on: December 03, 2019, 11:27:55 PM »

Couple of candidates for Illinois:
* On I-80
* On I-57

For Missouri, which has replaced or modified a lot of bridges since the interstates were built:

I-55 over US 61 between Jackson and Cape Girardeau
Example of an older urban structure over I-55 at Arsenal Street in St. Louis City
Example of older interchange bridges on SB I-55 at I-44 (if you rotate the image, note the added pier for the bridge carrying EB I-44).

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