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Chicago Department of Transportation Trusts Precast Concrete

Precast concrete is a great solution for a lot of projects. It’s a go-to if builders want a versatile, sustainable and strong material that can be installed with relative ease. Not only does precast concrete lower lifetime cost, it hastens the pace of the project. While it simulates concrete in every way, precast concrete is produced in high-tech factories and brought to the site already made. All the builders have to do is install it.

 Precast Concrete Solutions Are The Choice For Chicago Dept. of Transportation

That’s why precast concrete solutions are the Chicago Department of Transportation construction team’s material of choice for its water walkways projects. It’s important to note that building these projects is not an easy feat. It requires only the best materials to endure the constant exposure to the water. The additional chal the enge is length of the walkway. It has to connect the side of the Chicago River to the Lake Michigan area.

The goal of the project is to showcase the Chicago River in all its glory. Although it no longer serves as much a commercial purpose as it did in 1800s – when the river was integral to the lumber and meatpacking industries, the river continues to be a scenic feature in the city. The 1.25-mile water walkway will be essential to success of this plan.

To make sure that this project will be a success, the Chicago Department of Transportation endorsed precast concrete as their material of choice. They claim that it’s the only material that could what they need for the project. For the walkway, a total of 9 huge (4 feet tall and 10 feet wide) precast concrete tubs were made to support the rest of the walkway. The length of each tub varies, from 38 feet to 86 feet, and the largest weighed as heavy as 164,000 pounds.

While the size was required, so it can support the weight of the walkway itself and the people who will be using it, transporting the tubs posed a logistical challenge. Some were transported via trailers, while some were floated from the southern end of the Chicago River to the site. Once this hurdle was conquered, all the team had to do was install these tubs using steel embed plates and neoprene seal. That latter makes sure that each tub stays securely in place despite the constant exposure to water.

Despite how big the project was, the Chicago Department of Transportation was able to save a lot of time and money, all thanks to precast concrete. Not only is it durable and able to withstand the elements, it’s also cost-effective and faster to install.