Rebuild project for historic Pennsylvania bridge

Rebuilding work is planned for a historic bridge in the US state of Pennsylvania to ensure it remains able to carry current traffic volumes. The work is being managed by consulting engineer Michael Baker International.

Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) selected Michael Baker International for the US$5 million engineering and design project that will focus on the western spans of the Market Street Bridge in Harrisburg. Rehabilitating this critical traffic artery in Pennsylvania’s capital region is essential to maintain traffic flow. Although the project is comparatively small in economic terms, it is of wider note given the need for upgrades to many existing bridges in the US.

More than 12,000 vehicles/day rely on the Market Street Bridge to get to and from Harrisburg and the area’s western suburbs. The bridge stretches the entire width of the Susquehanna River and is one of only four river crossings in the metro Harrisburg area. It serves as a direct link to the centre of the city, including the Pennsylvania State Capitol and key state office buildings. Constant use, the passage of time and the elements have taken a toll on the bridge. Its western spans have not seen substantial improvements in more than 50 years.

Michael Baker will complete an in-depth inspection of the structure, develop preliminary rehabilitation plans, provide necessary documentation for environmental clearance and complete final design plans for the reconstruction of 16 spans on the western side of the bridge. This section stretches for approximately a quarter of a mile from City Island on the Susquehanna River to the bridge’s western edge. The requirements include full design and engineering specifications for replacement of the bridge deck and pre-stressed concrete beams that support the bridge’s surface along with a phasing and traffic management plan to minimise disruption during construction. The design and engineering phase of the project is set for completion by 2020.

The Market Street Bridge is a stone arch bridge that dates back to 1928 and is one of the oldest remaining bridges in Pennsylvania’s state capital. The National Park Service added the bridge to its National Register of Historic Places in 1988.


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