DCR Access Road over Route 24 Bridge. Randolph, Massachusetts


  • Construction Analysis and Construction Manual
  • Innovation of Design and/or Construction
  • Rapid Construction
  • Aesthetics and/or Harmony with Environment


  • 2011 PCI Design Awards Transportation: Non-highway Bridges Category
  • 2011 ASBI Bridge Awards of Excellence; Jury comments: “The ‘recycling’ of the existing bridge to erect the structure was innovative and enabled construction to be completed in two weeks, minimizing traffic disruption, reducing cost, and improving safety. This project showcases the advantages of segmental construction to address the goals of accelerated bridge construction.”


Massachusetts Highway Department - District 4


R. Zoppo Corporation


Courtesy of International Bridge Technologies


Courtesy of Unistress Corporation and R. Zoppo Corporation

Services Provided by FINLEY

  • Construction Analysis and Construction Manual
  • Integrated Segment Shop Drawings
  • Erection Beams and Temporary Supports
  • Post-tensioning Calculations
  • Casting and Erection Geometry Control Manuals, including FINLEYcast and FINLEYerect Geometry Control Software
  • Design Office Support during Construction



Specifications & Details

2011 ASBI Bridge Award of Excellence (494 KB)

Innovation of Design and/or Construction Rapid Construction Aesthetics and/or Harmony with Environment

'Channel Bridge' Improves Clearance (170 KB)

ASPIRE, Fall 2010

ASBI, SEGMENTS Newsletter, Volume 54, Fall 2009 (1 MB)

Project News Segmental "Channel Bridge" Begins Construction, MA

Expoy Interest Group - Segmental Bridges (1 MB)

DCR Access Road Bridge over Route 24

Pittsburg Engineer, Summer 2013 (1 MB)

The DCR Access Road Bridge Over Route 24. Winner of 2011 PCI Design Award and Voted "Best Non-Highway Bridge" by ASPIRE Magazine

The DCR Access Road Bridge is a functionally unique bridge in that it links the popular “Blue Hills Reservation” recreation area with the nearby city of Randolph. While the bridge was built to provide critical access across State Route 24, it also serves as an important link to miles of hiking and equestrian trails. An existing steel bridge provided access over a busy highway and had served in that capacity since 1958; however, the bridge was both functionally obsolete due to inadequate clearance and thus increasingly difficult to maintain.

The 4-span, steel girder structure, commonly referred to as the “Horse Bridge”, was replaced with a 2-span, segmental “Channel Bridge”. The replacement bridge has a length of 248′, a width of 29′- 8″, and a total depth (including barriers) of only 5′-4″. The low profile of the bridge increases the vertical clearance over the heavily-traveled Route 24 from 14′-3″ to 16′-9″ without altering the approach grade. Side piers of the original structure have been eliminated, increasing safety for drivers on Route 24.  The shallow depth of the DCR Bridge is achieved by using edge beams, located above the deck surface that function as both main supporting members as well as bridge barriers. The edge beams are fully post-tensioned, using a mix of 19-strand and 12-strand tendons. Additional longitudinal tendons are provided in the deck slab using flat, 4-strand tendons. Transversely, the structure is fully post-tensioned using flat 4-strand tendons.

The channel cross-section is a precast-concrete superstructure system that uses post-tensioned segmental construction. This bridge type is used when a replacement structure requires an increase in the vertical under-clearance, as is the case for the DCR Access Road over the Route 24 Bridge.

The channel cross-section does not use the typical bridge configuration of a deck supported underneath by a transverse or longitudinal support system. It features two edge beams that function as the main load-carrying elements with a deck supported between them, completely eliminating the need for a below-deck support system. This structure type provides numerous advantages including an increased vertical under-clearance, accelerated construction time, and a lower life-cycle cost.

Once removed from the old bridge, the steel beams will be recycled and used as temporary supports in erecting the segments for the new bridge.