WEST VALLEY – Imagine something as tall as a 20 story building rolling down the highway. That’s the plan for tomorrow morning as UDOT is hoping to install the largest precast concrete beam in the state’s history.
However, weather might get in the way of that happening.
The concrete beam is over 200 feet long, over eight feet wide and it weighs nearly a quarter million pounds. Engineers say the mixture of concrete and steel is designed to handle three million pounds of stress.
Lee Wegner with Forterra says, “There are cables running down the length of it. There are 68 of them. They’re a half inch in diameter.”
It’s so massive, the trip from West Valley to its final location at 2100 North in Lehi is expected to take two hours. Utah Highway Patrol has to give the final OK before they can even move it.
“This will take a lane and a half to move it down the freeway,” Wegner says, adding, “We’ll install it once it gets there, but, it will be off to the side, in the construction zone. So, once we get there, it won’t impact traffic anymore.”
Despite the beam’s incredible size, Wegner says it’s easier to install than smaller ones.
“You bring [smaller ones] out, you bolt it together. You set it in place and you bolt more together. This one is one single piece, ready for service,” he says.
Weather could postpone the trip. A lot of snow is expected to fall during the morning commute, and UDOT may have to push the transport operation back a day. Department officials say they won’t know until 9 a.m. Wednesday.
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