“I commend the work of our County Engineer, Kevin Becica, for overseeing the complete replacement of the bridge in just ten months,” Freeholder Ian Leonard, liaison to the Camden County Department of Public Works, said. “The old bridge suffered major structural damage when the Cooper River flooded as a result of Hurricane Irene. It was determined that the best course of action was to completely replace the bridge.”
The Baird Boulevard Bridge closed to vehicles in October of 2011 when an inspection by structural engineers, reviewed by both the State and Federal Departments of Transportation, determined that the bridge’s foundation was compromised and was settling. The new bridge was opened to traffic on Sept. 6, 2013.
The presence of weak soils at the site necessitated the design of an innovative load distribution platform that uses stabilization piles and reinforced backfill. A single-span bridge was designed to eliminate the center pier in the river.
Metalized steel girders were chosen to provide a long-lasting corrosion protection system, lowering overall life cycle costs. Pre-cast, post-tensioned deck panels and parapets were incorporated to speed construction of the superstructure.
The former Baird Boulevard Bridge was originally constructed in 1927 as a steel truss bridge, 34 feet wide with two sidewalks and 131 feet, 6 inches long. The bridge structure was reconstructed in 1947 with steel beams with concrete deck, 60.6 feet wide with two sidewalks and 112 feet long. The bridge superstructure was reconstructed 1997. At that time repairs were made to the bridge’s center pier.
“Kevin is a true professional and was recognized by her peers for the excellent work done by our team on the Baird Boulevard Bridge,” Leonard said. “This project also reconnected neighborhoods in Camden and opened routes back for access to Admiral Wilson Boulevard.”
Residents should report any problems they may encounter on Camden County roads by calling the Camden County Public Works Hotline at 856-566-2980.
--Press release from the Camden County Freeholder Board