Historic Bridgeport Covered Bridge

By Josh Rubero | November 7, 2022

Structural Shoring

D.H. Charles Engineering brought home two SAIA awards this year for our work completed on the historic Bridgeport Covered Bridge – the Structural Shoring Project of the Year and the Industrial Collaborative Project of the Year. It was a challenging, yet rewarding project to be a part of, and it was the team of engineers and contractors who really made this a successful project. Bridgeport Covered Bridge is the longest historic covered wooden bridge in the United States and DHC was tasked to provide a structural shoring system to support the bridge, work platforms, a temporary steel bridge installed within the covered bridge, and to provide a hydraulic jacking design to raise the covered bridge off its abutments and provide a camber.



The contractors involved were Sunbelt Rentals, Skyline Scaffold, Applied Technical Services, Spectra Company, and D.H. Charles Engineering, each of whom provided critical services for this project. Sunbelt Rentals designed a steel bridge to launch over the river, and through the covered bridge, off the shoring towers designed by DHC and installed by Skyline Scaffolding. It was then an actual bridge within a bridge, an extremely creative solution proposed by Skyline Scaffolding. Dwyidag rods were then installed through the Sunbelt Rentals bridge down through the covered bridge deck for the purpose of installing PERI RCS rails perpendicular to, and to support, the covered bridge. Hydraulic jacks were installed on the bottom chord of the Sunbelt Rentals bridge and used to lift the Dwyidag rods and, in turn the PERI RCS beams to raise the covered bridge off its abutments and support both bridges, in full, from the shoring towers set on concrete foundations in the river.



The shoring towers supporting the Sunbelt Rentals bridge and covered bridge were also designed to support 18’ of flowing water, applicable wind, and seismic loading. With the bridge now raised off its abutments, and with an 8” camber installed at the middle of the bridge, it continued to go under significant retrofit including the replacement of the abutments, truss members, a new steel diaphragm system, new siding, and a new roof.



This was a significant project, and to take part in it was an absolute pleasure. D.H. Charles Engineering is ready to help with your next structural shoring and bridge jacking projects to develop creative solutions alongside your company. We look to be on projects where we can be a key part of your team to develop solutions for you and your clients that will push the limits of what’s normally possible.


All photos are courtesy of John Field and Herb Lindberg and the California State Parks.


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