Acrow’s Detour Solution Minimizes Traffic Disruptions During Historic Bridge Renovation in Italy
Modular steel structure enables rapid restoration of damaged crossing on critical route
(Parsippany, New Jersey) – Acrow, a leading international bridge engineering and supply company, has announced one of its modular steel bridges has been installed as a long-term detour solution to maintaining traffic flow during a bridge renovation project in a suburb of the Italian city of Vicenza. Prior to the opening of the Acrow 700XS® bridge, motorists had been required to detour 12–15 kilometers around the site.
The Ponte di Debba, a historic cast iron structure, was built in 1885 and carries traffic over the Bacchiglione River in the village of Debba. At inspection in the summer of 2022, the bridge was found to have structural problems and was immediately closed to motor vehicles. In addition to the unreasonable length of the detour required, the route closure created other important concerns including reducing the increased volume of detoured traffic entering Vicenza; preserving access to the A4 motorway toll gate; and maintaining local traffic, including emergency responders. For these reasons, the Municipality of Vicenza, owner of the structure, opted to install an Acrow panel bridge to restore the route safely and reliably during the complete rehabilitation of the old structure.
The single-lane structure has a length of 30.48 meters and a roadway width of 3.67 meters. It has an epoxy aggregate deck surface and a design load of 44 metric tonnes as per the Eurocode/Italian Standard. The Acrow components arrived at the site on July 10, 2023, and installation activities commenced three days later. The fully decked bridge was launched with a 70 metric tonne crane on July 17, and after testing and installation of traffic lights and signage, the bridge was commissioned and opened to traffic on August 2. Acrow provided technical assistance during the assembly and supported live load testing activities prior to the bridge commissioning.
Despite the speed and success of the installation, undertaken by project contractor Carraro Impresa, the project posed numerous complexities. The assembly area was extremely tight and situated between the main roadway, a bank of the river, and a protected pedestrian path, which was required to remain open during the installation. The site also contained high-voltage utility wires which needed to be avoided. Because of the heavy traffic on the adjacent roadway, it could not be closed, resulting in the completion of temporary works to increase the rigging area for the crane being limited to a single weekend.
Preliminary feasibility studies including digital renderings to support the project planning process were provided by Acrow to illustrate placement of the temporary modular bridge near to the existing one. The Acrow bridge will remain in place for the duration of the project to rehabilitate the old structure, at which point it will be dismantled by Carraro Impresa and stored for future use.
“This was a challenging project, but very rewarding,” said Acrow Italy’s Business Development and Project Manager, Marco Mazzucato. “Acrow’s durable modular steel solution was able to restore the crossing, minimizing longtime inconvenience to local and regional travelers. For the duration of the rehabilitation project, Acrow’s 700XS modular steel bridge will provide safe and reliable service with minimal requirements.”
“Acrow has a long history of engineering and providing innovative solutions to rapidly restore damaged or destroyed bridge infrastructure,” added Paul Sullivan, President – International Business at Acrow. “Our bridges are designed and manufactured with high-strength galvanized U.S. steel for a service life of 75-100 years, but are also an ideal solution for emergency and temporary detour applications.”
Acrow has been serving the transportation and construction industries for more than 70 years with a wide range of modular steel bridging solutions for permanent, temporary, military and emergency use. Acrow’s extensive international presence includes leadership in the development and implementation of bridge infrastructure projects in over 150 countries across Africa, Asia, the Americas, Europe and the Middle East. For more information, please visit www.acrow.com.