Foothills Parkway, Bridge No. 2 - Blount County, Tennessee


Located in a scenic, environmentally sensitive area with limited access near the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, this bridge (Fig. 12) is the last significant bridge needed to complete the 1.6-mile “missing link” for the Foothills Parkway. The owner of the $25 million design-build project is the National Park Service. The project is being led by the Eastern Federal Lands Division of the Federal Highway Administration.

The team of Bell & Associates Construction / VSL / Corven Engineering was awarded the design-build project based on best value. To preserve the environmentally sensitive mountainous terrain, a scheme using “top-down construction” was developed with the precast segments erected in balanced cantilever. A unique straddle carrier supported on a temporary work bridge will be used to erect the segments, eliminating the need to build an access road for heavy construction.

When completed, the bridge will be 790 feet long with a maximum span length of 180 feet. The alignment consists of reverse curvature with radii as small as 262 feet. The bridge superstructure consists of 92 precast bridge segments. Each typical bridge segment is 36'-10" wide and 8'-8" long and weighs 50 tons. The bridge columns will also be segmentally constructed using 20 precast segmental box pier column segments. Segments for the bridge are being precast at Ross Prestressed Concrete, a PCI certified plant in Knoxville.

VSL prestressing systems will be used for both the transverse and longitudinal post-tensioning of the superstructure and columns. The precast segments will be transversely post-tensioned in the casting yard prior to segment delivery. Longitudinal prestressing will be achieved utilizing VSL’s ECi6-12 post-tensioning system. Precasting the bridge segments and using post-tensioning will help the bridge achieve a 100 year design life.

Design of the bridge has been completed, segment precasting is currently 20% complete, and work has begun on site for the assembly of the temporary work bridge. Project completion is scheduled for the winter of 2011.

Project Details




Federal Highway Administration Eastern Federal Lands Highway Division


Bell & Associates Construction

Construction Engineer:


Construction Engineering Inspection:


Formwork for Precast Segments:


Erection Equipment:


Post-Tensioning Materials:


Post-Tensioning Supplier:


Stay Cables:



Dan Brown & Associates

Construction Estimating Services:


Civil Engineer:

Palmer Engineering

Segment Erection: