How Clarkson Construction Demolished and Cleared 3 Bridges in Under 48 hours

Meghan Jansen News

On Friday, June 8th, Clarkson Construction Company began demolishing 3 bridges (Pittman, Phelps, and Crysler) that sit over Interstate 70, ultimately clearing the rubble from all three bridges in less than 48 hours – nearly 16 hours ahead of schedule.

The bridges were in poor condition– 40 years old with sidewalks that were pulling apart from the bridges along with rusted steel. The impacts of this project could be felt throughout the Kansas City region, as it was anticipated to close a large section of Interstate 70, a major artery into Kansas City, for two days..

Bob Fry, Chief of Field Operations at Clarkson Construction Company, explains that Clarkson’s approach and the company’s ability to self-perform the majority of its work as key to the company’s ability to tackle complex projects with efficiency.

“It all starts with building a schedule of critical events,” said Fry. “We make sure the lane drops are in place early enough so we can start right on time without delay. And we phase the activity to maximize efficiencies. In this case, we started first with the most critical bridge [Pittman] and had it knocked down by 6:00 AM Saturday morning. Our teams could then move onto the other two bridges while our dump trucks came in to clean up the demolition.”

Owning an extensive fleet of construction equipment also helps.

“At the peak time of cleanup from all three bridges, we had 30 dump trucks coordinating to remove the debris from the three worksites so that we could open the road back up ahead of schedule,” said Fry.

“We always have one of our mechanics on site in case something goes wrong so we can stay on our timeline. We also will put an extra excavator so if there is a critical issue with a piece of machinery, we can stay safe and move ahead with our project” said Fry.

“If we [Clarkson] don’t have the history that we do of delivering on these types of time-sensitive jobs, than we would never get the work in the first place. ”