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Local firm aids in Minn. bridge project

December 29, 2008

WILLIAMSPORT -- Maccaferri Inc., a world leader in engineered environmental solutions, recently participated in the reconstruction of the Interstate 35 West bridge over the Mississippi River in Minneapolis.

The bridge collapsed Aug. 1, 2007, killing 13 people and injuring 145 others.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation awarded the design-build contract for the bridge to a joint venture of Flatiron Constructors Inc. and Manson Construction Co. in October 2007. FIGG Engineering Group led the design phase of the project and is the engineer of record for the new bridge.

Maccaferri first was contacted by FIGG Engineering Group and Flatiron Constructors in November 2007 to see if the company could provide a product to meet the structural and aesthetic requirements of the project, along with a design life for corrosion protection of all components of the wall of 100 years.

Another requirement was that the MSE wall system had to be evaluated by the Highway Innovative Technology Evaluation Center (HITEC) for compliance with AASHTO requirements for the system and its components.

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Maccaferri's solution for the MSE walls was the Terramesh System and for the bridge abutments the Terrawall, both of which have been evaluated by HITEC.

Maccaferri worked with The Collin Group Ltd. of Bethesda, Md., to provide the entire design and construction drawings for both the Terramesh System and Terrawall structures. The design, drawing preparation and submittal review process took about three months.

Maccaferri worked closely with the Vetterstone quarry in Mankato, Minn., which supplied all of the custom-cut limestone for the fascia panels, and with Carl Bolander & Sons, which was the subcontractor installing the Terramesh System and Terrawall units.

Carl Bolander & Sons started construction of the Terramesh System and Terrawall in March. The walls varied in height, with the highest point at about 27 feet. The MSE walls were completed at the end of August.

Maccaferri supplied the following items -- 19,048 square feet of Terramesh System, 11,600 square feet of Terrawall, 40,000 square yards of geogrid, 25,000 square yards of filter fabric and 53,000 square feet of geomembrane.

The new I-35 West bridge was opened to traffic Sept. 18, which was 96 days ahead of schedule.

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