ARE-AirShark analyzed the Canton, North Carolina BlU Ridge Southern Railroad in order to seek repairs fit for supporting up to 286,000 pounds of traffic on a 10 mph limit stretch of bridge. After careful analysis of the bridge, a plethora of recommendations were made by ARE-AirShark to help see this idea come to fruition. Initially, the cost for total repairs was looming in the region of $1,000,000. However, precise planning and decision making by ARE-AirShark allowed for the repairs to drop to $500,000.
In the preliminary meetings, ARE- AirShark determined that in order for this type of weight to be supported, the replacement of 24 built up beams, 14 built up floorbeams and the addition of center Deck Plate Gurters would need to occur. After careful consideration, the Project Engineer Julina Corona came to the conclusion that only bridge members with below average ratings would need to be strengthened to maximize cost efficiency.
The breakdown of strengthening and repairs varied in many areas of the bridge layout. ARE-AirShark set out with Koppers Contracting Company to strengthen existing girders, replace bridge components at bearing areas, and increase the cross-section of all truss stringers in the middle third section of the bridge. In terms of the bridge’s stringers, ARE-AirShark added two helpers to Span 2 and a right helper to Span 3. To Span 5, two helper stringers were added.
ARE-AirShark in company with Koppers was able to increase the weight holding capacity of this state funded bridge through a series of replacements and repairs to many different aspects of the bridge. These concise repairs helped save the state of North Carolina close to $500,000 while still achieving the same goal.