Balfour Beatty Successfully Places First Beams to Support Bridge Widening on TxDOT’s Oak Hill Parkway Project
To achieve the milestone in one night, crews used trucks to transport 10 bridge beams through the roadway barrier onto the wide shoulder of the US 290 mainlanes, where crane operators then lifted and set the beams on bearing pads atop of previously constructed columns and caps. The successful placement of the bridge beams supports upcoming widening operations over Old Fredericksburg Road, which include installing permanent metal decking, forming bridge overhangs, and setting rebar for future bridge decks and barriers. This same operation will take place in the next few weeks at Monterey Oaks Boulevard.
“The start of bridge widening activities over Old Fredericksburg Road and Monterey Oaks Boulevard signifies significant progress on TxDOT’s Oak Hill Parkway project,” said John Rempe, PE, Balfour Beatty Executive Vice President and Region Manager of Civils operations in the Southwest. “I commend our bridge crews for their collaboration in safely performing this operation that serves as a step forward in alleviating traffic congestion and improving long-term mobility along US 290 and SH 71 in Austin.”
Since breaking ground on the project last summer, the CRC joint venture team completed its first major traffic shift west of Circle Drive and is preparing for its second major traffic shift where the first permanent frontage roads will come online at the west end of the Oak Hill Parkway corridor. The crew continues to work on the construction of more than 10 different retaining walls along the project’s corridor, which are a mix of soil nail walls, cast-in-place walls, and drilled shaft sound walls. The delivery of more than 10 bridge structures is also underway where team members have completed drilled shafts, columns, caps, abutments, and now bridge beams.
Additionally, due to the project’s location, large trenching and milling machines are being used during excavation work. Almost 400,000 cubic yards have been excavated to date, of an estimated 2 million cubic yards, to complete the project.
Once complete, the Oak Hill Parkway project will reconstruct and widen US 290 from the east end of Circle Drive to Loop 1 (MoPac Expressway) and SH 71 from US 290 to Silvermine Drive. The newly designed roadway will consist of constructing two to three mainlanes as well as adding two to three frontage-road lanes in each direction. An overpass for the US 290 main lanes over William Cannon Drive will also be built, along with direct-connect flyovers between US 290 and SH 71.
Additional project components include bicycle and pedestrian accommodations along the entire corridor, cross-street intersection improvements, U-turn lanes, upstream water detention, storm water detention, and water quality treatment ponds.
The Oak Hill Parkway project is scheduled for completion in 2026.