The existing Harry W. Nice/Thomas “Mac” Middleton Bridge (Nice Bridge) is a two-lane bridge spanning the Potomac River from Newburg, Maryland, to Dahlgren, Virginia, along U.S. 301. Upon completion of a new bridge that is planned to run parallel to the north side of the existing bridge, the Nice Bridge will be demolished. The new $480 million bridge will be a two-mile, four-lane structure with 59 spans.

In addition to the new bridge, this design-build project includes new pavements, culverts, stormwater management features, toll gantries, ITS structures, DMS signs, CCTV poles, utility relocations, and other support structures.

Schnabel provided the geotechnical engineering services, including developing deep foundation recommendations for support of the bridge consisting of 36-inch square and 66-inch diameter cylinder precast piles. Our analysis included impacts of pile driving on the existing bridge structure. We conducted the subsurface exploration, which included test borings drilled along the river from barges and test borings drilled at the bridge landing spans for road improvements.

Our coordination tasks included managing subcontractors, coordinating 12 inspectors, and managing the drilling activities, among others. The program also consisted of in situ testing, groundwater observation wells, and infiltration testing. We provided evaluations and recommendations for construction of the approach embankments, including options for mitigating settlement and negative side friction on the piles.