Roads & Bridges Names Modjeski and Masters A “Top Bridge” for 2014

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Replacement of Gilmerton Bridge Recognized As One of the Nation’s Best

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Henry G. Gilmerton Bridge in Chesapeake, Va. Designed by Modjeski and Masters.

The precision and engineering excellence of our team was beyond compare.

Roads & Bridges Magazine, one of the most respected transportation construction and maintenance publications, named Modjeski and Masters’ Gilmerton Bridge Replacement as the #3 “Top Bridge” of 2014.

The project replaced the Henry G. Gilmerton Bridge in Chesapeake, Va. This bascule span was a crucial crossing point for the Elizabeth River. However, its low clearance required more than 7,500 lifts per year, delaying both vehicular and marine traffic.

Situated on a bend in the river directly adjacent to an operational railroad bridge, the only option for a replacement was on the same alignment of the existing structure. This forced Modjeski’s engineers to design a new lift span that could be built directly over the old span. Using accelerated construction techniques and close coordination with many stakeholders, the new 250’ x 89’ lift span was installed with minimal disruption to vehicular, marine or railroad freight traffic.

“The constraints on this project were unlike anything we’ve encountered before,” said Michael F. Britt, PE, senior vice president and director of business development at Modjeski and Masters. “We had to oscillate drill shafts larger than had ever been done without seismically affecting the adjacent railroad bridge. Over a single weekend, we replaced the existing double-leaf bascule bridge with one of the widest lift spans ever designed. The precision and engineering excellence of our team was beyond compare. But, of course, we couldn’t have done this without the cooperation of our many partners including the Virginia Department of Transportation, City of Chesapeake, Gannett Fleming, US Coast Guard and Norfolk Southern Railroad.”

As a result of Modjeski and Masters’ work, the new Gilmerton Bridge needs to be opened 40 percent less. This saves the residents and businesses of Virginia’s Hampton Roads region valuable time and money.

A full overview, along with video, of the award-winning Gilmerton Bridge project can be found here.

About Modjeski and Masters
Modjeski and Masters is one of the world’s leading bridge engineering firms, with a reputation for technical excellence and innovation that goes beyond current standards. Established more than 120 years ago, the firm is responsible for the design and maintenance of some of our nation’s most recognizable structures. Services include fixed and movable bridge design, inspection and rehabilitation, and all facets of lifecycle maintenance, research and code development. For more information, including in-depth videos of Modjeski and Masters at work, please visit

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Adam Curtis
Abel Communications
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