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Grand River Bridge
Case Study

The Client

The Grand River bridge in Grand Rapids, MI on behalf of Slagter Construction


The Project

The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) contracted with Slagter Construction — who’s been in the highway construction business since 1955 — to rehabilitate a bridge over the Grand River in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Part of the work required the replacement of the bridge barrier rail and concrete deck, as well as repairing portions of the bridge’s steel structure. In addition, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) specified that no debris could fall into the river during the cutting of the concrete bridge barrier. Similarly, the slurry generated while sawing the barrier had to be contained so it would not drain into the river.

The Plan

Because of the need to remove the barrier wall without dropping any debris or slurry into the river, and the need to remove the barrier wall quickly, Diamond used a two-cut plan. The first stage called for slab sawing the barrier vertically into manageable pieces. The second stage called for curb sawing the barrier horizontally, thereby ensuring the most practical and efficient process for successfully completing the job and complying with state-mandated rules.

The Process

Diamond used a custom-built ride-on horizontal curb saw to cut the 12-inch thick barrier on both sides of the 500-foot-long bridge. Diamond’s ride-on horizontal curb saw, capable of cutting barrier walls as thick as 24 inches, cut the barrier wall flush to the remaining pedestrian walkway. Finally, to downsize the concrete pieces for easier removal, Diamond used high-horsepower slab saws to make vertical separating cuts in the barrier rail. In addition, Diamond provided Slagter with equipment to collect and properly dispose of the generated slurry.

The Outcome

Diamond was able to complete the work within 2 days, on time and on budget. According to Mark Price, Project Manager for Slagter. Diamond met Slagter’s expectations for timing and quality of work. “The horizontal cuts they made were flush to the remaining sidewalk and in some situations that is not always easy to do,” said Mark. “I was pleased with their work and will definitely contact them again when future opportunities arise where their expertise and equipment may be of use.”

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