The Access Corridor project was a design-build contract for the US Army Corps of Engineers at JBLM, WA. The project included a two-span concrete bridge and asphalt roadway that would physically connect Fort Lewis and McChord AFB. TSS-Garco Joint Venture was awarded the contract, with AHBL of Tacoma providing civil design, Nicholls-Kovich Engineering of Spokane providing the structural design, and BCE Engineering of Fife providing the electrical design. The project had many challenges, several related to the project’s close proximity to public roadways and the BNSF Railway property.
First, the bridge spanned a county roadway that ferried 18,000 vehicles per day between the I-5 Corridor and Ft. Lewis and McChord AFB. The locations of the piers were such that traffic would be impacted during construction. To remedy this, TSS-Garco JV built a temporary “shoo-fly” to allow traffic to pass through the work zone safety and without delay. Secondly, the new bridge was also to span an existing BNSF Railway track. BNSF had a 400 LF right of way that covered the entire structure footprint. Within this right-of-way, additional safety, security and scheduling needs had to be met on a daily basis. Lastly, at all times, this project was required to provide security for both Fort Lewis and McChord AFB. Temporary cantonment fencing was installed to secure JBLM during construction. Upon project completion, approximately 15,000 LF of new cantonment fence had been installed to physically connect both installations.
The actual construction of the project had several unique challenges. Approximately 80,000 cubic yards of borrow material had to be hauled and placed to form the bridge embankments. To lessen the impact to the traveling public, TSS-Garco JV secured use of a frontage haul road maintained by BNSF and JBLM. This allowed for an unimpeded and safe haul of material to the project.