E.S. Wagner Company serves as the prime contractor on this project for the Ohio Department of Transportation. This is the first contract let by the State of Ohio associated with the massive reconstruction of U.S. Route 24 between Toledo, Ohio and Fort Wayne, Indiana. This series of projects, also known as “Fort to Port”, has been needed for decades to improve safety on what has been one of the most dangerous stretches of highway in the country.
The project consists of approximately 2.5 miles of conversion of the existing two lane state route to four lanes. Construction of the roadway requires almost 400,000 cubic yards of embankment and 170,000 cubic yards of excavation. E.S. Wagner also removed 72,000 square yards of existing concrete pavement that was then recycled and reincorporated back into the project. These tasks have been made difficult by several factors. First, the project runs through the heart of the City of Defiance, Ohio. E.S. Wagner has made every effort to work with the city to provide the safest passage through the work zone with the least convenience to the traveling public. Second, the job is divided by a total of seven bridges. Four of which are large four span structures over active rivers, the Tiffin River and the Maumee River. Throughout the project, E.S. Wagner has kept the environment in mind and applied construction methods that would cause the least impact. The most innovative of these approaches may have been the use of a “jack-up” barge to construct the bridge over the Tiffin River.
By floating equipment and materials out to the construction site and then using large, corner mounted hydraulic jacks to stabilize the barge in the river; E.S. Wagner was able to service the bridge site without the use of a more conventional rock causeway. This barge was stable enough to support a 110 ton crane hoisting the ends of bridge beams weighing up to 126,000 pounds during beam erection!
All together the structures on this project consist of 8,500 cubic yards of quality control/quality assurance concrete, 4,870 lineal feet of drilled shaft foundations and 12,760 square feet of Mechanically Stabilized Earth Wall.