Ohio River Crossing Wellsburg Bridge Retaining Wall
Cutting down travel time between two waterfront towns, the Ohio River Bridges East End Crossing project connects Route 2 in Wellsburg, West Virginia, with Route 7 in Brilliant, Ohio. The West Virginia Department of Highways launched the $131 million design-build infrastructure project to handle projected traffic volumes, improve routing for emergency and commercial vehicles, and stimulate regional economic growth.
A new tied-arch span, to be constructed offsite and delivered by barge for installation, is 1,600 feet long and incorporates three vehicle lanes and one bike lane. In addition to the bridge, the project scope involves approach structures and roadway improvements, including the realignment and widening of a portion of Route 2 for future conversion to four lanes. To accommodate the widening, construction of a new retaining wall extending north and south of the West Virginia-side bridge abutment was required. The nine-section structure is nearly 4,000 feet long and has a maximum height of 37 feet.
Schnabel provided conceptual and final design of the wall, including specifications, and directed a subsurface investigation by others that gathered rock and soil data germane to its design. Early in the process, we explored alternatives to the initial options of soldier pile/lagging wall and secant pile systems. The selected system consists of lagging between discrete soldier piles laterally supported by tiebacks. This proven solution is appropriate for the site due to its ability to fill over existing slopes that have distinct soil and rock faces with the potential to creep and slide.