SR 41 Over Valley Creek and Officers Run

Location: Atglen, Pennsylvania

CONSPAN-SegmentWhen 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 traveling 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. Replacing two bridges on this route required creative approaches to avoid a major traffic disruption.

Working carefully with local municipalities, and local and State officials, PennDOT agreed with CCJM’s recommendation to replace these bridges in no more than 42 days utilizing a 12-mile detour. Accelerated construction was facilitated by 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.

Pile-DrivingThe construction contract was awarded to, JD Eckman, Inc. who agreed to a penalty of over $53,000 per day if the road was not opened on time. JD Eckman’s team began work in August 2015 by upgrading traffic signals and intersections along the detour route in preparation for increased truck traffic. Physical construction began October 16, 2015 and ended just before Thanksgiving in November, avoiding the summer beach traffic and the active period for endangered species in the area.

The structurally deficient bridge over Valley Creek (VCB) was replaced with a prestressed adjacent box beam structure under several feet of fill and the structure over Officers Run (NPP) with steel I-beams. Several techniques expedited construction.

  1. The new VCB structure is a precast, post-tensioned ConSpan® Arch spanning the existing abutments. The existing abutments were cut-off within 2’ of the stream bed and lined with rock providing adequate scour protection. The new footings and leveling founded on piles were constructed behind the existing abutments.
  2. The top 2’ of the NPP structure was cut-off and reconstructed. Scour protection was installed before the precast Inverset™ superstructure and deck units and precast approach slabs were set. These sections were bonded with ultra-high performance concrete finishing the construction.

By reusing the existing abutments, stream diversions and additional construction sequencing was eliminated. Reuse also allowed construction to occur on both abutments simultaneously.

CCJM is pleased to report that the road was re-opened on time. The structures no longer carry the Structurally Deficient classification. The bridge weight limit posting no longer exists and municipalities along the detour route have benefited from upgraded traffic control features.

State Senator Andy Dinniman, who represented a portion of the area impacted by the project noted, “I want to thank everyone who worked on this job for getting Route 41 done in 41 days. This project required advance planning and precise management to ensure that it was completed quickly and on time.” He added, “And I appreciate PennDOT’s responsiveness in working with local officials and police.”

Besides providing preliminary engineering, environmental services and final design for the project, CCJM also provided services during construction to ensure a positive outcome.