Bigge Helps Install A New Bascule Bridge

Bigge recently supported the installation of a new bascule bridge over the Rouge River in Detroit, MI. The Fort Street replacement bridge is 175 feet long, 68 feet wide and weighs over 800 tons. The bascule leaf” (span) of the bridge was assembled on land and then slid out over the river across a pair of pre-positioned barges to mate with the operator’s mechanical tower on the east bank of the river. The customer had originally designed a custom, application-specific rolling system that would have required a significant amount of fabrication.

Bigge was able to creatively engineer a solution by combining our existing equipment to provide the customer with a more cost-effective solution.

Bigge Toebe Bridge

By utilizing Bigge’s modular 1,000-ton capacity jumper bridge, a pair of 180 foot long runways were created to support the portion of our 750 feet of lock and slide skid track that extended from the pre-assembly area out over the barges. The bridge leaf, mounted on four custom skid shoes, was pushed and pulled across the river by a balanced hydraulic system. It was then re-positioned and jacked upwards so that hundreds of high strength bolts could connect the leaf to its mechanism.

The Fort Street Bridge, built in 1922, is the only surviving pony truss bascule bridge in the state of Michigan. The bridge was originally opened to give access to the Ford Motor Co.’s River Rouge manufacturing complex. The bridge reopened on December 31, 2015.