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11th Street Bridge, The Best Bridge Project In 2012?

The Washington Post/Getty Images

In case anyone missed the latest dispatch from the illustrious publication Roads & Bridges, there was some earth-shattering news to report (DDOT announced this in a press release). The 11th Street Bridge project was named number one in the country because the 'innovative approach saves time, money'. To earn top billing the people in charge had to do some creative problem-solving to get around fish migration, existing traffic, and—of course—regulations that come with urban density. Follow the jump to see some of the ways they got around the problems.
The article goes into much more depth about the specifics (jargon alert!), but here are the parts of the project that required bending a few rules:

· To accommodate the fish they used concrete piling drilled into the bedrock instead of creating cofferdams and this meant they didn't have to stop construction for the usual 3-4 months.
· For the drainage systems DDOT waived the need to have manholes placed as frequently as usual for a dense urban area.
· DDOT allowed stay-in-place forms for the concrete bridge decks so workers wouldn't have to come a remove them later (this doesn't usually happen in DC, but it does in Virginia). That alone saved $1M.
· Accommodating existing traffic by building three bridges. Per the article: ""80% of the traffic movements were 60% of the original budget, so that is how the contractor was selected."

· TOP 10 BRIDGES: No. 1—Winning mentality [Roads&Bridges]
· Anacostia Waterfront [OfficialSite]