The Southwest Virginia Memorial Bridge over the New River and the Norfolk Southern Railroad tracks is located on Route 11 in Pulaski County. In April of 2001, the Virginia Department of Transportation began work to replace the 52-year old Southwest Virginia Memorial Bridge, a vital link between the city of Radford and Fairlawn. The old bridge was a single structure with two lanes for northbound and southbound traffic. The new bridge was being constructed with two structures, each containing three lanes, and having pedestrian sidewalks and bike lanes. Fairfield Skanska, of Fishersville, Va, was contracted to replace the bridge. To demolish the old structure, Fairfield Skanska needed a quick, cost effective way to remove the old bridge deck. This is when the Kenco Slab Crab came into play. Fairfield Skanska used a Kenco Slab Crab on a Hitachi EX330 to remove the existing bridge deck. The bridge deck was saw cut into slabs and then removed by using the Slab Crab bucket. The bridge deck was 1,500 ft. long and was cut into 650 slabs. Fairfield Skanska was able to cut their production time in half by using the Slab Crab bucket. The entire project was completed in the fall of 2004.
We use the Slab Crab 3 to 4 times a year removing bridge decks. Many bridge removals are made over water or wetlands that cannot have concrete dropped in them. We saw the decks and remove the concrete with the Slab Crab Bucket. Most of the time we are able to give the slabs to a landowner. Previously we demolished decks with a wrecking ball, cut the rebar with torches, hauled the rebar off to a scrap yard and then had concrete to dispose of. The Slab Crab greatly reduces labor and disposal costs.
The Slab Crab is safer and much less labor intensive than other methods of removing slabs. Debris isn’t much of a factor because the slabs can be removed intact.