Ohio River’s East End Bridge/Tunnel to Be Built with Leica Technology

The Ohio River’s new East End Bridge, which will link Kentucky and Indiana segments of I-265 near Louisville, Ky., will be using a Leica Geosystems TS15 Robotic Total Station for design and construction survey work, and a Leica HDS7000 laser scanner for tunnel profiling. The purchase decision was made by Bryan Nicholson, survey manager for the project.

The East End Bridge is part of the Ohio River Bridges Project, which will improve transportation and commuting in the Louisville metro area with two new bridges and reconstruction of the Kennedy Interchange — it is believed to be the largest transportation infrastructure project happening in the Midwest. It will be the first of the two bridges to be completed, and project costs will be about $760 million.

“When completed, this will be the largest bridge in the Midwest,” said Nicholson. “The main span will be 1,200 feet, with approach spans of 540 feet on each side.” The bridge will also feature two convex diamond towers rising 300 ft above the river, a total of four lanes (with room for two additional lanes if needed), and a 13-ft pedestrian and bicycle path. The cable-stayed bridge design has been praised for its aesthetic appeal and structural efficiency, and incorporates soft edges and warm gray tones that complement nearby stone bluffs.

Nicholson made the decision to use the Leica Geosystems instrument based on the requirements of this project, and also based on his experience as survey manager for the Hoover Dam Bypass, one of this century’s most visually spectacular and technically accomplished bridge project.

The East End Bridge project is now in final design phases, and construction has technically begun with construction occurring on some road extensions. The completed bridge is scheduled to be open for traffic in October 2016. The project includes a 2,000 lf twin bore, drill-and-blast tunnel under the historic Drumanard Estate as part of the approach on the East End Crossing in Kentucky.

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