Located on US 2 between East Grand Forks and Grand Forks, the John F. Kennedy Memorial Bridge is a vital regional transportation corridor with more than 23,000 vehicles crossing the bridge each day. Built in 1963, the Kennedy Memorial Bridge is a 1,261-foot-long, 13-span structure consisting of five steel girder spans on the west approach, six steel girder spans on each approach, and two 279-foot steel Parker Truss main spans over the Red River. The Minnesota Department of Transportation, in partnership with the North Dakota Department of Transportation, determined that this bridge should be rehabilitated as it was eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places. SRF managed the consultant team and led the environmental documentation, agency coordination, and preliminary and final design. SRF also worked closely with a cultural resource consultant to ensure that all elements of the rehabilitated bridge were consistent with the Secretary of Interior’s Standards for Historic Properties to achieve a finding of no adverse effect to historic resources. SRF developed a method to replace an existing pier that was tilting using a temporary pier while driving pile through the in-place deck. The tilting pier supports nearly 335 feet of superstructure. This method involved careful placement of all structural elements to ensure that conflicts would not occur in the field. 3D models of the bridge were created to check conflicts between the proposed piling and the existing piling, temporary shoring elements, and in-place steel floor system elements. The 3D models were further refined to create visualizations that allowed bridge historians to effectively evaluate the placement of new features including the bridge railing and aesthetic lighting.
SRF’s design also included the following elements Rehabilitating the truss and superstructure, which included strengthening the truss span floor beams and stringers, repainting steel elements, replacing pin and hanger connection assemblies, and reinforcing abutment bearing assemblies. Replacing the existing deck in stages to maintain at least one lane of traffic in each direction during construction as well as the strip seal and finger type expansion joints. Maintaining historic integrity by using the existing aluminum railing components installed on top of a new, crash-tested, concrete traffic railing. Providing accommodations for pedestrians and cyclists while maintaining for lanes of traffic within the given bridge width.