At a staggering 700 feet high, the Phill G. McDonald Bridge is one of the World’s tallest truss bridges. Also known as the Glade Creek Bridge, the structure features some of the tallest piers ever built in North America. One of the last links built in the Interstate System, it is also one of the most important bridges in the State of West Virginia given its environmentally sensitive location. In order to maintain the vital crossing in compliance with NBIS standards, the West Virginia Division of Highways (WVDOH) needed an inspection firm capable of reaching all portions of the bridge, including the massive piers and steel truss members. WVDOH turned to Modjeski and Masters –experienced bridge engineers that would utilize technical and rope access climbing methods to accomplish the task.
M&M’s expert bridge inspectors performed the 2011 and 2013 biennial inspections of the iconic crossing, which included a 100% hands on inspection and report preparation of the three-span continuous steel deck truss. The truss main span is 784 feet with side spans of 500 feet each and is flanked by two girder spans on each end for a total length of 2,180 feet. Using innovative technical climbing and rope access methods, our team of inspectors scaled the 300+ foot piers. M&M also performed an interim inspection of the bridge’s fracture critical members. Additionally, non destructive testing was performed on key bridge elements, including an ultrasonic inspection of eight link bearing pins.
This project builds upon our growing portfolio of WVDOH inspection experience. These include the Veterans Memorial Bridge, the Bigley CBD Bridges, the Jennings Randolph Bridges, Nick Joe Rahall II Bridge, the Man Bridges, William S. Ritchie, Jr. Bridge, the East Huntington Bridge, the 35th and 36st Street Bridges and a number of smaller bridges.
Todd McMeans, PE (Project Principal)
Jason Schade, PE (Project Manager)
Michael Januszkiewicz, PE (Inspection Team Leader)
R. Shawn Brannon, PE (Inspection Team Leader)
Thomas Rogers, PE (Inspection Team Leader)
Isaac Chapman, EIT (Bridge Inspector)
Joseph Neeley (Bridge Inspector)
Seth Darley, EIT (Bridge Inspector)
Eric Harbeson, EIT (Bridge Inspector)
Katrena Parsons, PE (Bridge Inspector)
Todd Dankmyer, PE (Bridge Inspector)
Austin Kieffer, EIT (Bridge Inspector)
Adam Harless (Technician)