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Phill G. McDonald Bridge Inspection and NDT

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At a staggering 700 feet high, the Phill G. McDonald Bridge is one of the World’s tallest truss bridges. Also known as the Glade Creek Bridge, the structure features some of the tallest piers ever built in North America. One of the last links built in the Interstate System, it is also one of the most important bridges in the State of West Virginia given its environmentally sensitive location. In order to maintain the vital crossing in compliance with NBIS standards, the West Virginia Division of Highways (WVDOH) needed an inspection firm capable of reaching all portions of the bridge, including the massive piers and steel truss members.

Modjeski and Masters' (M&M) expert bridge inspectors performed the 2011 and 2013 biennial inspections of the iconic crossing, which included a 100% hands-on inspection and report preparation of the three-span continuous steel deck truss. The truss main span is 784 feet with side spans of 500 feet each and is flanked by two girder spans on each end for a total length of 2,180 feet. Using innovative technical climbing and rope access methods, our team of inspectors scaled the 300+ foot piers. M&M also performed an interim inspection of the bridge’s fracture critical members. Additionally, non-destructive testing was performed on key bridge elements, including an ultrasonic inspection of eight link bearing pins. 

Bridge Geometry
Length of Main Span 784 Feet
Total Project Length 2,180 Feet
Lanes on Structure Four lanes