RELEASE:

CONTACT:
IMMEDIATE

Dawn Eischen 804-524-6179
Dawn.Eischen@vdot.virginia.gov

RICH-1121

Nov. 2, 2011



PRELIMINARY FINDINGS FOLLOWING LAST MONTH’S WORK ZONE INCIDENT AT THE I-95 SHERWOOD AVENUE BRIDGE

COLONIAL HEIGHTS—The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) Richmond District office released their preliminary findings following the I-95 work zone sheet pile incident at the Sherwood Avenue bridge in Richmond last month.

According to statements from I-95 Bridge Restorations primary contractor, Archer Western, crew members conducted the required safety inspections prior to beginning the sheet pile installation, the equipment used was new and had approximately 25 hours of prior use, and their operators were familiar with the equipment and executed the work per company procedures. Last week, VDOT, Archer Western and equipment representatives tested the hammer used to grip the sheet pile during installation. They discovered the actual gripping pressure of the hammer to be 3,125-3,250 psi (pounds per square inch) or below normal—4,000-4,700 psi is normal.

“Once we receive the contractor’s report and any third party reports, we will be in a better position to determine what caused this incident,” said Scott Fisher, project manager.

On October 19, 2011 around 2:50 p.m., crews were installing sheet pile for a temporary retaining structure outside the barrier wall at the Sherwood Avenue bridge along I-95 when one of the 50 foot sections fell across the southbound travel lanes. One motorist struck the sheet pile and was transported to the hospital with minor injuries.

“We regret this incident occurred and someone suffered damages as a result,” said Fisher. Sheet pile installation activities were suspended following the incident. “Before the contractor can resume sheet pile installation activities, we will need to review and approve their action plan outlining the steps they will take to prevent this from happening again.”

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