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  1. #1
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    204

    Default How to move a bridge?

    We recently had the dam on our pond/lake/stock tank reconstructed after it washed out about 5 years ago. The new dam has a spill way at the end. Since we're making preparations to build a house up on the hill above the lake which will require daily driving over the dam and spillway we're trying to find the best options of crossing the spillway. While talking to the rep from the local electric co-op about our plans while he was out helping us decide on the best rout to get power up the hill, he mentioned that a man he did a recent job for had an old bridge that he wanted to sell that would be perfect to span our spill way. Me being technology oriented proceeded to use the rough directions to the bridge site that the guy gave me to find it on google maps' satellite view.

    After verifying that that was indeed the location and the bridge, we drove out to the site today to take a look at it. In my opinion, the bridge is absolutely beautiful in the way only rusty old works from times past can be, and true to it's time period it is built to last forever and then some.

    The question now becomes is it feasible to move this bridge 30 miles, and if so, how much is it likely to cost? Since these questions are impossible to answer without pics, without further ado here they are:











    If you'll notice from the third pic, the bridge is already sitting on what appears to be the from of an old truck or trailer of some sort, although only one end is still up.

    My idea was to just lift the bridge up, bolt a couple of axles under it and secure a hitch of some sort to the front and pull the bridge down the highway like a parade float, at night or in the wee hours of the morning to avoid most traffic obstacles, of course.

    Now, the other concern is that the bridge was damaged slightly in moving it from wherever it used to rest to it's current location:



    I'm thinking that damage can probably be mostly corrected with liberal use of a hydraulic ram of some sort.

    So, good people, what are your thoughts? Would we be better of to just buy the frame from a mobile home (Which we can get for what the person selling them would have received from a scrap dealer) and construct the bridge from scratch?

  2. #2
    Gold Member smiley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    435
    Location
    Upstate NY

    Default Re: How to move a bridge?

    You didn't mention the size but it's obvious someone moved it before. You photo's where so big I couldn't load them all on dial up but from the position of the wheels, I would imagine they moved it with a road tractor. Is there any sign of where a fifth wheel might have been attached to the front? That would probably be the easiest way to do it. Get a 5th wheel and some tires on it, check width/height problems, hook up before sunrise on Sunday morning and drag it home with escorts if necessary. As for the damaged beams, I think they'ed be easier to cut out and replace than to straighten.

  3. #3
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    204

    Default

    The width is roughly 12 feet, length at least 20 feet. The trailer does appear to have been a 5th wheel type that would connect to a road tractor, though the trailer is in really bad shape.

  4. #4
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    1,079
    Location
    Palm of the Right Hand
    Tractor
    John Deere 5210 + Bobcat CT335

    Default Re: How to move a bridge?

    I think I would get an estmate from a house moving or rigging company. They would have the equipment to jack the bridge and slide some good running gear under it. They would also know about permits/rules that may apply to hauling that wide of a load.

  5. #5
    Elite Member Ductape's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    4,852
    Location
    Central New Hampshire
    Tractor
    Kubota B3030HSDC

    Default Re: How to move a bridge?

    Call a couple area towing services. Looks like a decent medium duty wrecker would be able to move that. Tell 'em they can do it at their convenience to save you money. If you aren't way out of the way, they should be able to swing by when they are in the area for something else to survey the situation.

  6. #6
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    204

    Default

    I guess the next question would be whether a 45hp dozer would be able to maneuver the bridge into place once we have it on our property?

  7. #7
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    697
    Location
    north Mississippi
    Tractor
    NH 3040

    Default Re: How to move a bridge?

    I agree with ducttape about how to move it. and a 45 horse dozer should do fine. (as long as you don't have to shove one end off in your void and pull it up the other side)
    NH 3040 fel 6' cutter
    JD 737 zero turn
    polaris ranger xp
    99 honda 300
    trek 5900 nobody knows what that is.

  8. #8
    Platinum Member cmhyland's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Posts
    636
    Location
    Woodstock Valley, CT
    Tractor
    2000 Kubota B2910

    Default Re: How to move a bridge?

    After you get the price on buying the bridge, and having it moved, and most likely a crane to set it in place.... Find out if there are places in your area the precast concrete bridges and the cost with delivery and set in place. Not the look of the old steel but that steel bridge still needs to be decked and that's not cheap either.

    Also the steel and it's decking will require ongoing maintenance and offer significant weight restrictions for the size vehicles crossing... I wouldn't want to see a full concrete truck cross that..

    Example:

    Pre-Cast Concrete Box Culverts ? Keystone Pre-Cast Concrete Products

  9. #9
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    1,302
    Location
    lower part of Md.
    Tractor
    JD310, ASV RC-100

    Default Re: How to move a bridge?

    it's a wide load move which around here would be expensive just for permits and escorts. Wouldn't be surprised if it was 2500 to 3000 to move.

  10. #10
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    3,581
    Location
    nicholson, pa
    Tractor
    John Deer Lt160

    Default Re: How to move a bridge?

    just wondering if it would make it more stable to move it if you bolted some type of decking down.

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