Streamlining Infrastructure

KDOT US-40 Bridge Replacements

Wallace County, KS

Project Overview

GBA completed the design of three concurrent bridge replacement projects on US-40 in Wallace County, Kansas. US-40 is a vital corridor in western Kansas, particularly to provide a route for freight between Kansas and Colorado.  

Due to existing bridge type and geometry, phased construction for all three structures was not feasible. Two of the existing bridges were located within a 334-foot Union Pacific Railroad (UPPR) right-of-way. Replacement options for these railroad overpasses were restricted with meeting current railroad criteria and maintenance of traffic concerns for the corridor. The third bridge, over the Smokey Hill River, required a shoofly to maintain traffic during construction as a detour route would have exceeded 40 miles.  


For the east-most bridge near Wallace, the team designed an offset alignment over the railroad’s right-of-way to reduce the extreme skew over the tracks. This alignment along with meeting current UPRR’s requirements, resulted in a significantly longer bridge. Hammerhead piers (innovative for a rural setting) were utilized to minimize the bridge spans over the tracks.

Geological constraints limit UPRR’s ability to use their entire right-of-way for future expansion. Through coordination with UPRR, slopes, abutments, and piers were placed within the railroad right-of-way.  

A low-speed shoofly detour was designed to maintain traffic during construction of the Smokey Hill River bridge.

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