Massive platform-moving vehicle carrying new Second Avenue bridge over I-94

The massive transportation method shutting down the I-94 freeway this week sits on dozens of axles and moves about 10 feet every 20 minutes.

Known as a self-propelled modular transporter, the multi-tiered lift will be the only thing traveling down the highway this week as it helps install the Second Avenue bridge over I-94 in Detroit this week. 

The Michigan Department of Transportation is using the SPMT to transport the skeleton of the network tied arch bridge to its final location this week. If all things go according to plan, the road between I-75 and the Lodge Freeway will reopen Friday, July 29.

The platform-hauling transit option is typically used when moving massive objects that can't be moved with trucks. Those include spacecraft, motors, cranes, oil refining equipment, and large bridge sections. 

According to the Federal Highway Administration, SPMTs were recommended as the most effective and efficient mode of transportation for installing pre-built bridge systems. They're frequently used in Europe, becoming popular over the years as an alternative to infrastructure construction that improves work safety areas while minimizing traffic disruption.

RELATED: How to install a 5-million pound bridge

According to an executive summary of the platform-carrying vehicles, they're controlled by computers which allows them to be moved within a fraction of an inch for precision. 

The Self-propelled modular transporter is computer controlled and specifically designed for moving large objects like bridges. 

The particular SPMT that's being used has more than a hundred wheels.  

According to MDOT, after the skeleton of the bridge is installed, a new driving service will be built over the platform. Those may require short-term closures before it's fully open to traffic.