Bridge builders have continually sought safer and more efficient ways to build and maintain bridges. On the Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge in downtown St. Louis, a staple of industrial construction is doing just that while saving the project $1 million. Developed by the mentor/protégé team of St. Louis-based PayneCrest Electric & Communications and BRK Electrical Contractors, cable tray was used to replace conduit to run wiring. BRK performed the installation.

The 1,500-foot cable stayed Musial bridge originally called for eight conduit runs beneath the bridge deck for electrical needs, such as lights. PayneCrest/BRK researched the cost and presented the Missouri Department of Transportation with a less expensive cable tray alternative to plastic-coated metal conduit. The conduit not only costs more but can be difficult to access for maintenance and future expansion.

The PayneCrest/BRK solution was drawn from its extensive industrial experience, including nearly 50 miles of cable tray installed at Holcim Cement Plant in Ste. Genevieve, Mo. On that project, managed by PayneCrest, the cable tray stood up to the harsh conditions of the industrial plant, including exposure to the weather and cement dust.

PayneCrest/BRK devised a single cable tray to run wiring beneath the Musial bridge deck and two cable trays to run wiring on the top of bridge deck. This offered several advantages, including:

  • Sufficient protection from the elements and bridge vibrations
  • Less expensive to install while helping maintain the schedule
  • Safer installation as less work had to be performed beneath the bridge;
  • Easier access for maintenance or adding new cabling.
  • Lighter weight and a perfect fit to accommodate expansion and contraction of the bridge
  • Fewer splices needed for feeder conductors.
  • The innovation earned the PayneCrest/BRK team and MODOT the 2013 American Association of State Highways and
  • Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Value Engineering Award.

January 9, 2014