Expansion of Clear Creek Bridge and Express Bridge

State Highway 146 is the main roadway along Trinity Bay providing a vital connection between Galveston and Houston. It serves as a hurricane evacuation route and provides access for commuters and cargo freight along Trinity bay. Growth in the area has increased traffic over the years, which necessitated an expansion of the roadway. In 2016, TxDot began moving forward with right-of-way acquisitions, and in 2019, Webber LLC. began work on this $200 million project.

T-Shaped Pier cap | Formwork System

Cast-In-Place Formwork System needed to keep traffic moving

Large Concrete Round Columns

The biggest undertaking of this job was the expansion of the existing Clear Creek Bridge, which would remain open to local traffic, and the creation of the a new expressway that would enable through traffic to bypass the main traffic in the cities of Kemah and Seabrook. The main bridge expansion called for additional lanes to be added, increasing it from four lanes to six lanes of traffic. The additional bridge super structure consisted of large concrete round columns, tie beams and square pier caps, which necessitated multiple pours in order to complete each bent. The new Express Bridge will also add an additional six lanes for the through traffic. The bridge structure over the water also consisted of large concrete round columns, tie beams and square pier caps. Over the land, the Expressway turned into an elevated roadway, which consisted of large inverted T-shaped caps sitting on flared concrete columns.

Adjustable Column Forms Adapt to Site Conditions

Self Supporting Hinged Soffit Formwork System for Square Caps

Webber worked with EFCO to design multiple formwork systems to tackle the different parts of their job. On the Main Bridge and the Express Bridge over Clear Creek, Webber utilized multiple sizes of standard Round Column® formwork [66″, 54″, and 36″ (1,675 mm, 1,372 mm, and 915 mm)] to form the columns and a self-supporting hinged soffit formwork system to handle the tie beams and square caps.

Steel Forming System with Superior Pour Pressure Capacities

Radial Soffit Panels | Inverted T-Shaped Pier Caps

On the Express Bridge over land, Webber elected to use EFCO’s PLATE GIRDER® formwork for the large flare columns 4′ x 6′-6″ x 44′ (1.2 m x 2.0 m x 13.4 m) tall], which incorporated custom made radial soffit panels. They also used a self-supporting, steel soffit solution for their inverted T-shaped pier caps. The steel-face PLATE GIRDER system enabled Webber to use the same forms throughout the project and gave them the ability to handle the large cantilever on some of the caps without the use of a shore tower or additional support providing Webber LLC labor and material savings. ◊

Expansion of Clear Creek Bridge and Express Bridge - Between Galveston and Houston, Texas
Expansion of Clear Creek Bridge and Express Bridge
Between Galveston and Houston, Texas
Expansion of Clear Creek Bridge and Express Bridge - Between Galveston and Houston, Texas
Expansion of Clear Creek Bridge and Express Bridge
Between Galveston and Houston, Texas
Expansion of Clear Creek Bridge and Express Bridge - Between Galveston and Houston, Texas
Expansion of Clear Creek Bridge and Express Bridge
Between Galveston and Houston, Texas
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