Grand Conceptor Award – HNTB Corporation of Kansas City

Firm Name: HNTB Corporation of Kansas City

Project: Champ Clark Bridge

Client: Missouri Department of Transportation

MoDOT and IDOT came together in a joint undertaking to replace the Champ Clark Bridge utilizing a design-build delivery method. The goal was to transform the river crossing from an outdated, structurally deficient bridge to a reliable, safe crossing over the Mississippi River. The prime features on the project were the widening of the bridge with the inclusion of shoulders that more than doubled the original overall width and raising the roadway approach on the Illinois side that previously was prone to flooding.

In an effort to build a quality, low maintenance bridge quickly, innovative techniques were implemented. Most notably, polyester polymer concrete overlay, a more durable material, was used to extend deck life up to 30 years. Additionally, the use of precast panels expedited construction, enabling workers to continue through record flooding and winter weather.

The team made significant efforts to involve the surrounding communities from both states. Prime examples of this include inviting the public to vote on the design of a retaining wall, hosting monthly update meetings, implementing a STEM design challenge among area high schools as well as other educational opportunities like classroom demonstrations, site tours and career fairs. Each activity provided opportunities for the residents of the area to be actively engaged in the historic project and encouraged interest in the field of engineering.

The project team proved to be a great alliance on the design-build project. HNTB Corporation and Massman Construction Co. were able to accomplish all project goals on schedule and on budget, resulting in an invaluable project serving the surrounding communities.