Charlotte, N.C. — As part of its statewide bridge replacement program, the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) recently awarded Smith-Rowe Inc, and design firm, STV, a design-build contract to replace 10 bridges throughout the central region of the state – the team’s fifth such contract over the past four years.

STV is the lead designer and is providing roadway, structural, drainage, river hydraulics and geotechnical design services, as well as utility coordination for the bridges, which range between 55 feet and 200 feet long, with one bridge topping out at 360 feet in length. Smith Rowe and STV have been tasked with the design and construction of close to 60 bridges in North Carolina since NCDOT kicked off its Express Design-Build Bridge Replacement Program in 2011.

“These bridge replacements demonstrate the entire gamut of what STV’s roadway and structures group can do in the Southeast,” said Jason Griscom, P.E., engineering director for STV’s structures group in Charlotte, NC. “Meanwhile, constructing structures like these are Smith-Rowe’s specialty. By working alongside them for so many years and coordinating with them upfront at the beginning of every contract, we’ve been able to develop some strategies on the design end that help accelerate construction and keep the overall bridge replacement program on schedule.”

NCDOT oversees one of the largest state-maintained highway systems in the country with more than 18,000 highway bridge structures. Prior to the start of the Express Design-Build Bridge Program, many of the smaller, rural bridges were deficient, necessitating the replacement of more than 1,000 of these structures.

Projects were completed on an accelerated schedule because the rural nature and location of many of these bridge structures could potentially inconvenience motorists with lengthy detour routes for road closures. As part of its contract with Smith-Rowe, STV also provided environmental permitting services when needed for individual sites.

Currently, more than 40 of the bridges Smith-Rowe and STV have been tasked with replacing have been completed.

“With a more than 30-year history of working with STV, this is a relationship that has produced numerous successful projects across North Carolina,” said David Rowe, Smith-Rowe president. “Smith-Rowe counts on STV for the very best in design and permitting while STV counts on us for accurate interpretation and execution of its plans. The design-build process has allowed both firms to employ their mutually beneficial skills to the benefit of the thousands of people who travel North Carolina’s roadways.”