View all press releases

    April 29, 2009
    Rapid Bridge Replacement Technology Sidesteps Lane Closures on Salt Lake City's I-215 Bridge
    DENVER, CO — Rapid bridge replacement technology kept Utah traffic flowing during a structural repair of Salt Lake City’s I-215 bridge at 3300 South last summer.

    According to Rick Chestnut of Terracon Engineering, in traditional bridge replacement, the old bridge is demolished and the new bridge is constructed on site in its place. This can require lane closures and impeded traffic for a month or more. Utah’s motorists were spared the inconvenience, however. The bridge was repaired in just two days.

    Rapid bridge replacement technology makes it possible to build a new piece of the bridge or even an entire span on location close to where it will be installed. This allows traffic lanes to remain open until the new span is completed and ready to be put in place.

    Chestnut said the use of Geofoam, in addition to rapid bridge replacement technology, further sped the completion of the project. Engineers used Geofoam to reduce settlement of 20 feet of compressible clay in the soil beneath the bridge support system. “Using traditional fill material such as soil would have caused significant settlement problems and possible structural damage to the bridge,” said Chestnut.

    24,200 cubic feet of ACH Foam Technologies’ EPS 22 Geofoam was used to reduce settlement on underlying soils and lateral pressure on the structural wall supporting the bridge. “The use of Geofoam significantly reduced construction time and greatly reduced the amount of structural reinforcement needed,” Chestnut explained.

    ACH Geofoam is 100 times lighter than soil and 20 to 30 times lighter than other lightweight fill alternatives. Although it is extremely lightweight, it has strength comparable to foamed concrete, waste tires, soil, woodchips and wood fiber. These alternative fill materials have limitations in handling and can be weather sensitive which requires staged construction and pre-loading, surcharging and draining.

    According to ACH Foam Technologies’ Frank Kiesecker, ACH Geofoam has been used in geotechnical applications worldwide for more than 30 years. “The use of Geofoam eliminates time that would be needed for traditional fill to settle. It maximizes installation efficiency because installation is not delayed by weather conditions as with soil. This saves time and money,” said Kiesecker.

    About ACH Foam Technologies

    For specifications, technical data and studies go to or call ACH Foam Technologies at 800.525.8697.For over four decades ACH Foam Technologies has been an industry leader in EPS manufacturing, providing products for construction, geotechnical, packaging, and industrial applications. With locations throughout the U.S., ACH is positioned to offer convenient, valuable, and complete solutions for its customers. ACH recycles 100% of its post-industrial EPS and is actively involved in recycling post-consumer EPS as well.