Atglen, PA (SR 41 over Valley Creek and Officers Run)

U-S ElevationAugust 11, 2015

ATGLEN, Penn. - CC Johnson & Malhotra (CCJM) executes an A+Bx construction project for the replacement of two adjacent deficient bridges on a heavily traveled truck route. When deterioration of two adjacent deficient structures resulted in a weight limit posting and threatened to disrupt a key route in Southeastern Pennsylvania, a creative solution was urgently needed.

Nearly 20 percent of the 12,000 vehicles travelling along Gap Newport Pike (SR 41) each day in northwestern Chester County, PA are trucks going to and from Central PA and the greater Wilmington, DE area. The route is also heavily traveled in the summer months to access the beaches of Delaware from central PA.

After considerable dialogue, it was determined that the best scenario for minimal disruption would be a 12 mile detour along an improved parallel route coupled with innovative techniques enabling rapid replacement of the deteriorating structures.

CCJM proposed several unique techniques to expedite the construction process, including spanning over the environmentally sensitive stream to avoid impact and maintain stream flow, retaining the structurally adequate existing substructures in-place; and finally, innovative use of precast structure elements made monolithic through placement of ultra-high performance concrete.

The aggressive strategy relied on the contractor to minimize the time needed for construction of these long-lasting bridge replacements.  In this case contractor bids were evaluated for not only the dollar amount of the contract but also the amount of time required for roadway closure.

The end result?  The winning contractor committed to open the road within 42 days of closure. Work begins in August to upgrade traffic signals and intersections along the detour route in preparation for increased truck traffic. Construction of the structures  is scheduled from October 2015 to early December — finishing before the holidays, avoiding the summer beach traffic and any potential interference with a nearby colony of endangered species.

When finished, the structures will no longer carry the Structurally Deficient classification, the bridge weight limit posting will no longer exist and the detour route will benefit from upgraded traffic control features.