ATLANTA – The Georgia Department of Transportation’s (Georgia DOT) Courtland Street Bridge Replacement Project has been recognized with a special award in the “small projects” category by the Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA). DBIA’s National Project/Team awards are given annually to projects that exemplify the principles of the Design-Build Done Right® best practices.
“Georgia DOT is honored to receive this award from such an outstanding organization that is highly valued in our industry,” Georgia DOT Commissioner Russell R. McMurry, P.E. said. “The completion of the Courtland Street Bridge strengthens downtown Atlanta – an economic engine of Georgia.”
The $21 million project replaced the original 111-year-old bridge along Courtland Street between Martin Luther King Jr. Drive and Gilmer Street, over Decatur Street and rail lines owned by MARTA and CSX. Under the original concept, the reconstruction of the bridge would have taken at least 18 months. Using design-build and accelerated bridge construction (ABC) delivery methods, the total construction time was cut in half. Construction partners had 180 days from the closure date to demolish the old bridge, construct the new bridge, and reopen the street to traffic. The project team was able to meet substantial completion at 152 days.
The bridge provides connectivity to downtown Atlanta for thousands of motorists and more than 30,000 students and staff at Georgia State University (GSU). The new bridge includes a 12-foot bus lane to accommodate the on- and off-loading of passengers and expanded sidewalks for pedestrian traffic.
The project team employed several techniques to mitigate impacts for this high-density urban area, including: constructing protected access and exit areas through the work zone to key GSU buildings; employing specialized equipment to install new bridge foundations beneath the existing bridge in advance of the road closure; using accelerated concrete mixes; applying precast concrete beams for fast completion of bridge superstructure; and implementing an aggressive work schedule.
The award-winning effort showcases not only an extraordinary project but validates the fact that Design-Build Done Right® can accomplish great things on projects of all sizes. The project team went well above and beyond achieving cost, schedule, and quality goals, demonstrating unique applications of design-build best practices to raise the bar.