Lazelle Road Widening & Railroad Bridge Replacements
TIGHT QUARTERS AND FIRM DEADLINES MADE FOR A CHALLENGING PROJECT: TO REPLACE VITAL RAIL BRIDGES IN COLUMBUS, OHIO, AND IMPROVE TRAFFIC FLOW FOR A GROWING AREA
What We Did
The Lazelle Road widening was a vital railroad bridge replacement project in Columbus, Ohio. Two bridges operated by CSX and Norfolk Southern (NSRR) pass over Lazelle Road, but urban growth created a traffic congestion bottleneck on the thoroughfare in the area of adjacent businesses and the Polaris Fashion Mall.
The dual railroad bridge replacements included the phased installation and demolition of shoring and temporary structures. Construction at this difficult-to-access site challenged the designers more than a typical railroad bridge replacement project. Detailing phased structures and access was key to the project’s smooth progress and improved safety, while keeping the traffic flowing on Lazelle Road and the freight rail moving above it.
With a tight right-of-way, difficult access, and 1.5:1 railroad embankment side slope, the method and sequencing of construction required significant forethought and coordination with multiple parties. A tangent drilled shaft wall constructed from the top down was a natural fit given the shallow shale, but consistent access between the two bridges was still required.
An innovative, multi-phased shoring installation and removal process was designed to allow the contractor access to the tight area between the tracks and to reuse the shoring in subsequent phases by removing it in sections.
The complexity of the design included access roads into the work zone between the tracks and a temporary shoring phasing scheme, which was critical to maintaining an uninterrupted rail traffic flow. The shoring design required multiple phases of multiple elements deflecting in different directions without exceeding the maximum allowable calculated deflection of 3/8 of an inch at any one time.
- Reconstruction of the roadway and widening Lazelle Road for additional lanes.
- Relocation of South Old State Road at its intersection with Lazelle Road, including the construction of a roundabout.
- Reconstruction of the CSX & Norfolk Southern railroad bridges over Lazelle Road.
- Addition of sidewalks on the south side and a shared-use path on the north side of Lazelle Road in addition to curbs, gutters, and curb ramps.
- New drainage, pavement markings, street lighting, and landscaping.
Awards & Recognition
- National Recognition Award, 2023, American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC), Engineering Excellence Awards.
- Honor Award – Transportation and Outstanding Achievement Award, 2023, ACEC Ohio Section, Engineering Excellence Awards.
- Project of the Year (>$5m category), 2022, American Society of Highway Engineers (ASHE) Great Lakes Region.
- Project of the Year, 2021, ASHE Central Ohio Section.
- Outstanding Highway Project Award, 2021, ASHE Great Lakes Region.
- Project of the Year (Short Span Bridge), 2022, Association for Bridge Construction Design – Southwest & Central Ohio Chapters.
- Increased flow of traffic and improved drainage under the railroad bridges.
- Uninterrupted flow of freight traffic and emergency services during construction.
- Longer superstructure supported by low-maintenance, cast-in-place concrete abutments.
Norfolk Southern Railroad & CSX Transportation (Constructed by City of Columbus)
Planning and Design