Replacing an Overpass in 3 Days: UDOT's Must-See Excavator Orchestra

See crews replace a 5-million-pound bridge in 3 days.

A Jaw-Dropping Display of Coordination

Tired of construction delays in your hometown? Well, get ready to witness an amazing feat by the Utah Department of Transportation.

In just three days, UDOT crews demolished an old bridge and installed a brand new one through their accelerated bridge construction program. The whole process was captured on an incredible time-lapse video that covers the weekend of April 14-16 in Salt Lake City.

The video begins with a fleet of powerful machines working tirelessly with hydraulic breakers to bring down the 1300 East bridge over Interstate 80—being careful not to hammer themselves into a corner (nobody wants to be that guy...).

It's probably safe to call it a "bridge swap," right? 

According to UDOT, the bridge, which was built in the early 1960s, was due for replacement. In preparation for the demolition, the contractors at Ralph L Wadsworth Construction built a new bridge 110 feet away from the existing one. This new bridge is 175 feet long, and 172 feet wide, and features a 17-foot-wide trail on the east side and a new sidewalk on the west side.

The next day, after the old bridge deck and supports were removed, the 5-million-pound new bridge was slid into place. UDOT claims that it marks one of the longest slides ever performed in the state. During the slide, the excavators continued their precision work to break up the concrete on the ground below.

Once the new bridge was in place, UDOT had achieved its goal of minimizing traffic disruption and providing a much smoother and safer ride for drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists.

This impressive feat is part of a massive $146.5 million project to repave I-80 between 1300 East and 2300 East, and I-215 between 3300 South and 4500 South. Additionally, the eastbound I-80 section will be widened by an additional lane. The 1300 East bridge is one of three bridges being demolished and rebuilt for the project, which began in May 2021 and is expected to wrap up in late 2023.

We'd like to offer a big thanks to Equipment World for first bringing us this story to share with you. 

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About Ken Lane
Ken’s affinity for the heavy equipment industry was fostered as a curious youngster—becoming happily lost on his grandfather’s tractor sales and service lot (his favorite color is still Allis-Chalmers Orange). Since then, he’s perfected the art of turning black coffee into helpful buyer resources and marketing materials for My Little Salesman.
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