Asheville Bridge Project Receives Honor by Preservation Society of Asheville and Buncombe County Friday, May 25, 2012

RALEIGH – For the second time, the N.C. Department of Transportation’s Biltmore Avenue bridge replacement project over the Swannanoa River in Asheville has been honored for its accelerated construction schedule and how it fits in to the historic area.


The Preservation Society of Asheville and Buncombe County has named the project a recipient of the 2012 Griffin Award for New Construction. NCDOT received its award on May 24 at the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources Western Office of Archives and History in Asheville.


The organization said the project was judged on “the project’s compatibility to the adjacent scale, character, materials, colors, siting, landscape and forms of the historic area. The project should, arguably, be a contributing structure to the integrity of the immediate area.”


NCDOT Division 13 Engineer Jay Swain, whose area includes Asheville, said, I continue to get comments from merchants in Biltmore Village about the project’s appearance, the minimal impact to business and our coordination with them. This project is a model for how to do it right, and we are proud to accept the award on the department’s behalf.”


The Biltmore Avenue bridge project used accelerated construction techniques that cut the total construction time from 2½ years to about nine months when it was officially opened on April 30, 2010. In 2009, the project received a $110,000 Innovative Bridge Research and Development Program grant from the Federal Highway Administration. The grant recognized projects in 14 states that promoted widespread use of technologies and applications that are not commonly used.


The construction area was closed for about four months while crews built the new bridge. Contractor Taylor and Murphy Construction of Asheville built the bridge deck and cast it on the bridge beams in a staging yard at the project site. The deck and beams were then set on top of the bridge supports that were already constructed and put in place. Much of that work was done before the old bridge was closed in January 2010.


Editor’s Note: Attached photo is the Biltmore Avenue bridge.




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