Project Profile: Honeoye Bridge Wins APWA Project of the Year Award

Jan. 1, 2000

The Route 65 Bridge over Honeoye Creek, located in Honeoye Falls, NY, was awarded the Project of the Year Award for 1997 by the Monroe County/Genesee Valley Branch of the American Public Works Association (APWA). APWA’s Award Program was established to promote excellence in the field of public works construction projects.

The existing structure-a single-span, earth-filled concrete arch bridge-was built in 1929. In aneffort to keep the style of the new structure in keeping with the quaint village environment, the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) decided to develop this as an experimental project and build a segmental concrete arch bridge with the Keystone Retaining Wall System as the bridge wall and a Texas A&M-style concrete system for the bridge rail. The system was installed at both fasciae of the bridge. The rationale for choosing the Keystone wall was based on economics. This type of wall system provides cost savings over a standard cast-in-place reinforced concrete wall. “In addition to the obvious cost benefits of this system,” says Chris Ruscio of Domine Builders Supply in Rochester, NY, the firm that supplied the retaining wall system, “the citizens of Honeoye wanted to retain an ‘old world’ look to the new structure.”

The approximately 2,500-ft.2 wall was built by laying Keystone Standard units in the normal installation method while field-cutting blocks along the arch structure as needed. Because the system is so flexible, the units can be cut to make them fit according to any type of structure rather than having to precast or otherwise preform them. The units were placed in a classic running bond pattern and connected with high-strength fiberglass pins between each layer. Select, free-draining backfill was placed behind the units and compacted as the units were installed one course at a time. “We used 1-inch-minus washed, crushed stone in the backfill because it provides such good drainage,” Rusicio explains.

Structural geogrids, used to reinforce the soil behind the wall, were connected over the pins and pulled taut prior to placement and compaction of backfill. The backfill was wetted down, and this enabled heavy compaction equipment to run over it and achieve compaction rates of 106%. This Keystone/geogrid system provides the resistance to pressure from the earthfill and traffic load. The concrete bridge rail system was adopted to provide both an aesthetic and structurally superior solution.

The project was designed by the NYSDOT and constructed by Sealand Contractors of Rochester. The award was presented to Keystone representatives Domine Builders Supply on January 29, 1998, during APWA’s annual awards banquet. This award-winning bridge reconstruction project is something the citizens of Honeoye are understandably proud of-proof that an excellent engineering project can also retain the charm of bygone years.