The $390 million 11th Street Bridge in southeastern Washington, D.C., is the largest project underway in the District Department of Transportation’s (DDOT) Anacostia Waterfront Initiative. It consists of two phases and involves recreating the transportation infrastructure network to promote safe, efficient, multi-modal travel throughout the Anacostia Waterfront area.

Phase I: 20 Bridges

Phase I began in late 2009, was completed in spring 2013, and included the construction of 20 bridges to provide direct connections between the Southeast-Southwest Freeway and both directions of Interstate/DC-295, fixing a long-standing deficiency that forced motorists to use local streets to connect to and from both freeways. The project’s joint general contractors, Skanska USA Civil SE and Facchina Construction Co., hired Maryland-based Aaron’s Concrete Pumping Inc., the only woman-owned concrete pumping company in the Mid-Atlantic region that is certified with various state and county minority divisions, for material placement.

They placed about 20,000 tons of stone at bridge abutments in wall fill for the mechanically stabilized earth (MSE), a precast concrete panel stacked vertically and held in place with both galvanized reinforced strips and backfill material with specific engineered properties.

The team at Aaron’s used its Putzmeiseter Telebelt TB 110 to place the stone and dirt for the bridge abutments. The abutments were earth- and stone-filled and contained by MSE wall panels on all four sides, which didn’t allow for access. The Telebelt allowed Skanska Facchina JV to convey the material up over the walls to speed constructing this abutment.

“For the approach ramps, with no access for dump trucks, using a Telebelt to move the material was much faster than the traditional crane and bucket or excavator methods,” says Joshua Sheets, vice president and co-owner of Aaron’s. “It saved the crew a lot of time and headache.”

Phase II: Three Additional Bridges

The second phase, which began in early 2013, includes the construction of three additional bridges to further improve freeway connections. The project is replacing two bridges built in the 1960s with new bridges that separate local and freeway traffic.

Aaron’s was also hired to work on the second phase of the project. Two Putzmeister 47Z-Meter, 36Z-Meter, and 20Z-Meter truck-mounted concrete boom pumps will pump about 8000 cubic yards of concrete for the bridges. The Telebelt will be used for the bridge abutments on phase II, as well.

Pumping for Good

Tracey Sheets Rhoten, president and CEO of Aaron’s, recently had Putzmeister outfit one of her company’s two 47Z-Meter trucks on the 11th Street Bridge Project with a special decal supporting Autism Speaks, a leading autism science and advocacy organization. Aaron’s has committed to donating 1% of sales from the truck every year to Autism Speaks to help raise awareness for the disorder.

As a parent of a child with Asperger’s syndrome, an autism spectrum disorder, the organization is close to Rhoten’s heart.

“One in 88 children is affected by autism,” she explains. “Many schools are cutting funding for kids with special needs, so any support we can give to organization like Autism Speaks can really make a difference in their lives.”

Rhoten says the response to the truck and her company’s commitment to Autism Speaks has been overwhelmingly positive.

“It’s amazing how many people on our jobs have children, nieces and nephews, and friends whose children struggle with autism,” she says. “We’ve had so many generous customers, vendors and employees willing to donate money under my son’s name. It’s been really touching.”