Flexible on-site Installation: Prefabricated DYWIDAG Tendons for George V. Voinovich Bridge in Cleveland

The George V. Voinovich Bridge is part of the I-90 Interstate in Cleveland, Ohio, carrying vehicular traffic across the Cuyahoga River. The 5 lane structure replaces a truss bridge built in 1959 that had deteriorated badly and needed replacement.

The new crossing consists of two sister structures, the first of which was completed in 2013. Until the completion of the second bridge, for traffic into the eastern direction, the first structure will continue to accommodate the total traffic volume of approximately 140,000 vehicles per day.

The current bridge under construction for eastbound traffic is where the DYWIDAG system is being used. The main bridge is approximately 1,194.8m (3,920ft) long and consists of two units. The first part – the approach bridge – is a 4 span conventional steel plate girder bridge. The second part is a 10-span, 5 girder line, steel plate girder bridge supported by steel delta frames. The span lengths vary from 82.3m to 110m (270ft to 361ft). Both bridge decks have a total width of approximately 30.5m.

With a length of approximately 27.4m (90ft), the 18 x 204 HP piles are the largest ever manufactured in the USA. The steel piles were hammered up to 61m (200ft) deep into the underlying stable bedrock. The piers rest on two concrete blocks that measure 8.5 x 8.5 x 2.6m (28ft x 28ft x 8.5ft). The columns of the piers were built in 3 sections, with the last section cantilevering laterally. The columns have a hollow core in order to reduce the overall weight of the bridge structures. On top of the two columns is a solid reinforced pier cap joining them together.

There are 5 pedestals on top of each pier cap. Five groups of 20-24 GR150 DYWIDAG Post-Tensioning Bars are embedded multiple feet in to each pier cap, pass through the pedestal, and protrude several feet above, so structural steel can be positioned onto the bars and they can still be stressed. After pier cap concrete placement, the top of the DYWIDAG Bar Tendons were required to pass through an area where a grout pad would be poured after the setting of knuckles (at the bottom of the delta), prior to the completion of the delta frame erection. While placing the grout pad, it was critical that the fluid grout pad material did not enter the ducts and cause blockage or prevent proper tensioning of the tendons.

Furthermore, the interface between the delta frame base plate and the grout pad had to be sealed against moisture intrusion. DSI developed a groutable system meeting both the owner’s requirements for durability and satisfying requirements in terms of installation. The DYWIDAG Bar Tendons were required to be stressed to approximately 72% of their ultimate strength, after the setting of the knuckle (at the bottom of the delta), but before the rest of the delta frame was erected.

In a true partnering approach, the contractor and DSI worked together and finalized an anchorage system using 46 and 65mm Ø DYWIDAG Bar Tendons. In order to eliminate the complicated site assembly requirements for tendons, DSI proposed a preassembled, pick and place tendon system that could be flexibly used, thus saving the contractor time and labor.

The DYWIDAG Bar Tendons were assembled including all accessories in DSI Construction USA’s Bolingbrook facility and then sent to the jobsite. In total, 300 46mm Ø DYWIDAG Bar Tendons with a total weight of 12t and 680 66mm Ø DYWIDAG Bar Tendons with a total weight of 53t were needed. The contractor placed the DYWIDAG Tendons in a jig held by setting templates at both top and bottom that was used to fly the tendons into place.


Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT), USA

General Contractor

Trumbull-Great Lakes-Ruhlin a Joint Venture, consisting of Trumbull Corporation, The Great Lakes Construction Company and The Ruhlin Company, all of them USA


Touchstone Architecture, USA

Consulting Engineers

URS Corporation, An AECOM Company, USA

DSI Unit

DYWIDAG-Systems International USA Inc., BU Post-Tensioning, East, USA

DSI Scope

Development, production, supply, technical support

DYWIDAG Products

300 46mm Ø DYWIDAG Bar Tendons, 12t and 680 66mm Ø DYWIDAG Bar Tendons, 53t

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