Stout Superstructure


    Central Bridge No. 182, in Barrington, R.I., is the first bridge project in the state to use Northeast Extreme Tee (NEXT) beams to construct a wider bridge carrying traffic on Massasoit Avenue over the Barrington River from Route 114 to Woodward Avenue. The $20 million project consisted of demolishing the existing two-lane bridge and replacing it with a wider bridge. The project required new bridge abutments and substructure, complete replacement of the superstructure, and full-depth roadway reconstruction of the bridge approaches.

    Oldcastle Precast New England, contracted by Cardi Corporation, provided the prestressed concrete NEXT beams for the new bridge superstructure. The beams, selected primarily because of their ease and speed of erection, are a robust double-tee with a 13-inch-wide tee leg that is much stouter, providing greater strength and allowing shallower depths.

    “We evaluated several options for the bridge-replacement project before deciding to recommend the use of the NEXT beams,” said Kevin Viveiros, vice president of Pare Corporation. “The project began before NEXT beams were promoted as an alternative solution.” He and David Elwell, the senior project engineer, attended a presentation on the beams and saw the versatility of the product. “We realized it offered a good alternative for us. It didn’t take a lot of convincing to show Rhode Island Department of Transportation the benefits once we looked at it closely.” (PCI Northeast)

    Prestressed arched fascia beams cover the new bridge’s five continuous spans.

    Oldcastle Precast New England detailed and manufactured 30, NEXT F36 beams for the project. The beams were made in four sizes: 8 feet, 8 inches wide by 60 feet long; 9 feet, 4 inches wide by 60 feet long; 8 feet, 8 inches wide by 67 feet long; and 9 foot, 4 inches wide by 67 feet long. In addition, Oldcastle Precast supplied the 10 prestressed arched fascia beams.

    The new bridge structure has five continuous spans, totaling 330 feet, with six lines of prestressed concrete NEXT F36 Beams per span. Each span also features an arched fascia beam on its exterior sides to provide an attractive finish.

    “This was the first bridge to use NEXT beams in Rhode Island, but we’re seeing it used more and more in other states, and it’s apparent it’s becoming a popular option pretty quickly,” Viveiros said. “More projects using NEXT beams in Rhode Island are on the table now, with some beginning construction in the near future.” (PCI Northeast)

    Pare Corporation, based in Lincoln, R.I., is the project design firm and Cardi Corporation, Warwick, R.I., is the general contractor.

    Oldcastle Precast was instrumental in development of the Northeast Extreme Tee (NEXT) beam. In 2006, the Precast Concrete Institute-Northeast visited precast plants and noticed that Oldcastle Precast-Rehoboth had developed a high-level platform section for railroad platforms. Oldcastle provided the drawings of the section, with some modifications, to assist with the early analysis by the PCI Northeast Bridge Technical Committee in order to develop the new NEXT bridge beam.

    Information provided by Oldcastle Precast (

    Read about development of the NEXT beam.