Motorists driving down a 3.5-mile stretch of the Loop 375 Transmountain West roadway outside of El Paso, Texas are sure to notice the intricate geometric designs that adorn the columns supporting the two direct connector bridges. What they don’t see are the months of precision and innovation Sundt devoted to creating the complex rustication pattern on each of the 108 columns.
A number of factors came together to make the artwork exceptionally challenging. For starters, there was a mere 1/8-inch tolerance on the detailed design. Such a narrow tolerance would require a high level of precision while setting the concrete forms even under normal circumstances, which these weren’t. Because the Transmountain area is hilly, the columns vary enormously in height, but the 16-inch smooth spot between the top of the column and the bottom of the pier cap had to be maintained on every column. That meant the rustication pattern needed to be changed every time the column height varied – essentially turning each one into a custom job.
It took 30 full-time Sundt concrete craft workers and four superintendents approximately five months to make the bridge columns. Their commitment to quality and precision raised the bar on what’s possible in concrete construction while creating a successful project for the Texas Department of Transportation and the thousands of motorists who use the roadway every day.
Texas Department of Transportation
Loop 375 - Transmountain West