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Life-Cycle Engineering Services | EXPANDED

Modjeski and Masters is pleased to announce the acquisition of structural engineering firm Summit Engineering Group, Inc. Our combined engineering prowess and respective technical skillsets will enable us to provide streamlined design and construction solutions to best meet client needs.

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Cape Cod Canal Lift Bridge Rehabilitation

| View Projects:USA Buzzards Bay, MA

  • Client:

    U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District
  • Service:

    Movable Bridges
  • Status:

  • Overview

    The Cape Code Canal Railroad Bridge holds several distinctions. The gateway structure to the world’s widest sea level canal is also the second longest lift bridge in the United States. The continued operation and maintenance of this railroad vertical lift bridge provides vessels with access through the canal, saving an average of 135 miles of coastwise travel around the tip of Cape Cod. The New England District of the U. S. Corps of Engineers needed a worthy steward of their valuable asset, one who possessed the knowledge and expertise to inspect, test and trouble-shoot the movable railroad bridge to maximize reliability. At the same time, they had to be able to perform the tasks with minimal disruption to both rail and ship traffic. 
    The Corps selected Modjeski and Masters for the assignment. We brought an integrated approach to providing the required multi-dimensional movable bridge services. Our structural, mechanical and electrical engineers and inspectors are all under “one roof”, minimizing the need for additional sub-consultants. This agile group brings innovation to the inspection process by incorporating technical and rope access climbing techniques to minimize rail and shipping interruptions. 
    Our initial assignment was for a complete inspection that included every aspect of the bridge’s construction: mechanical, electrical and structural. These findings were used to develop load capacity ratings and a fatigue evaluation. Soon after we were tasked with developing contract documents for a complete rehabilitation of the bridge, which included structural, mechanical and electrical components. Under normal circumstances, construction progresses with the movable span in the lowered position. However, operational constraints required that all rehabilitation be performed with the lift span in the raised position. It was critical that construction time be minimized with limited interference to navigation. Swift and changing currents in the canal precluded the use of “float-out / float-in” procedures. Our engineers developed temporary supports for the lift span which allowed a first-ever replacement of counterweight ropes with the span in the raised position and the counterweights supported from the tower tops. 
    Our relationship with the New England District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began in the mid-1980s. With our ability to provide the owner with life cycle bridge engineering services, the relationship grew and has continued for over two decades. 
  • Description

    Tasks Performed
    • In-Depth Inspection
    • Load Capacity Rating
    • Rehabilitation – Design (Preliminary and Final)
    • Electrical/Mechanical Inspection & Rehabilitation
    • Construction Support & Inspection
    Bridge Geometry
    • Length of Main Span – 550 feet
    • Total Project Length – 926 feet
    • Tracks on Structure – one track
  • Testimonial

    “…The firm’s management fostered solid team work and coordinated well with their Corps counterparts…”H. F. McMillan, PE, Chief, Engineering/Planning Division, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District
  • Credits

    Richard A. Little, PE (Project Manager)
    Lance V. Borden, PE (Lead Electrical Engineer)
    Jeffrey W. Newman, PE (Lead Mechanical Engineer)