Truth or Falsework

Truth or Falsework


Improving highways without disrupting the traveling public and while keeping workers safe is always a concern for state departments of transportation. In the late 1990s, Sundt devised a way to work on bridges over live traffic with minimal disruption to travelers and increased safety conditions for our crews.


We were building a new major interchange to tie the 101 Freeway in Phoenix into the heavily traveled Interstate 10. The work included building four bridges constructed on falsework. Typical falsework towers are usually engineering-intensive, heavy and difficult to remove. Once each section of bridge was completed, the falsework would need to be removed and replaced for the next section. The traditional method for removing falsework involves supporting it with multiple canes or forklifts while crews work to remove the materials from manlifts or work platforms high above the ground — and the busy traffic below.


Instead of working in these conditions, we devised a way to support the falsework from atop the completed structure while the support beams were relocated to the next section. Employing heavy-duty stripping winches anchored to the bridge, we lowered the falsework materials to the ground as one unit, where they could safely be dismantled and reconfigured for use on the next section of bridge. The process was safer for crews and the traveling public, and ultimately saved the owner time and money.



Arizona Department of Transportation


Agua Fria Freeway Traffic Interchange