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Where:
Geary County
When:
2018 to 2020
Project Type:
Bridge Replacement

Project Case
Study.

Historic Ascher Road Bridge Design

The Kansas Historical Society preserves historically significant structures on the National Register of Historic Places in Kansas.

The Ascher Road bridge in Geary County was on this register, but the Geary County Public Works Department was looking to replace it due to deterioration. Engineers working on this project met an extra challenge of having to file paperwork to demolish a historical bridge while designing the bridge that would go in its place.

The Challenge

Replacing a nationally recognized bridge

The almost 100-year-old historic bridge was used frequently by the agricultural community in Geary County. Engineers needed to justify demolishing it for a new bridge, which required cooperation with the Kansas Historical Society. They also needed to conduct surveying, design and geotechnical services for the project, which required coordination with the Kansas Department of Transportation.

The Process

The Plan

Funding was acquired for the bridge replacement through the federal Off-System Bridge program, and KDOT provided permitting and oversight on the project. Surveyors completed a topographical survey of the existing bridge and project area. Geotechnical engineers also performed testing of the land at the site. With this survey, engineers prepared designs for the replacement.

 

The Design

The new bridge design is a single-span structure with a U-type abutment. Prestressed concrete beams were utilized to cross over the wide creek. A single span was important to the county to keep maintenance issues to a minimum. Heavy drift and debris from fallen limbs and trees travels in the creek and we worked with the county to make sure debris maintenance can be kept to a minimum. Design is currently still in progress with a scheduled letting date of October 2021.

The Application

While planning occurred, engineers had to justify demolishing the historic bridge. They then decided to nominate an identical rainbow arch bridge in Geary County to replace the Ascher Road bridge on the National Register of Historic Places. The process took over 50 hours, and the bridge was approved for design in 2019.

 

The Outcome

Design and nomination went unabridged

While design is still in progress, a lot of work has already been completed for this project. Now that the historical process is complete, we can concentrate on getting construction plans completed in 2021 and plan to have the bridge construction completed in 2022. A historic bridge is still recognized in Geary County, and a new bridge benefits agricultural workers. The historic nomination process was a learning experience, and we are happy everything worked out successfully.