Dish soap is a key component to moving these massive concrete and steel structures. Some background from Construction Equipment Guide:

The bridge slid into place using hydraulic jacks attached to bolt devices placed underneath the bridge. Due to its slippery coating and ability to adhere, Dawn dish soap was used to cover the sliding devices — Teflon pads — placed between bridge and span abutments.

The bridge’s concrete was made with fibers to give it extra binding strength to extend the life of the structure.


Bridge slides are great not just because the process is quick an oh, so satisfying but because the process helps cut down on traffic impacts. Crews build the new bridge next to the old bridge and then demolish the old bridge. The new bridge then slides into place on teflon skids greased with that world famous de-greaser, Dawn dish soap. Here’s a cool run down on how it works:

Massena Lateral Bridge Slide

This isn’t the first time Utah has used soap to slip a huge piece of infrastructure down the road a piece. A few months ago, UDOT posted a smaller, 1.1-million-pound bridge doing the Concrete Slide down I-15 in Cedar City, Utah:

Timelapse: 1.1 million pound bridge slide on I-15

It looks like it doesn’t even take all that much dish soap to move the bridge. That’s a pretty average-sized bottle being used by this crew with the 1.1 million pound bridge.

A bottle of dish soap sits on a bridge during construction.
Dawn dish soap used by crews to move freeway overpasses.
Screenshot: UDOT

So just remember; when you’re feeling average, maybe insignificant and powerless, you might just not be in the right place to make the really big moves.