Lycoming Valley Railroad Bridge Nears Completion

Tue July 15, 2014 - Northeast Edition
Brenda Ruggiero


The bridge reconstruction was bid in June 2013, started in July 2013, and will be finished in July 2014.
The bridge reconstruction was bid in June 2013, started in July 2013, and will be finished in July 2014.
The bridge reconstruction was bid in June 2013, started in July 2013, and will be finished in July 2014. The bridge was damaged beyond repair in 2011 by Tropical Storm Lee, and the project also involves the reconstruction of approximately half a mile of railroad track. The new bridge is being built by Glenn O. Hawbaker Inc. of State College, Pa. The scope of the project included the construction of a new three-span 475 ft. (145 m) long steel bridge consisting of Spans 1 and 3 being 119.5 ft. (36.4 m) long and 106 in. (269 cm) high through the girders, and Span 2 being a 237.75 ft. (72.5 m) long, The bridge is supported by two new abutments and two new piers.

A railroad bridge replacement project in Lycoming County, Pa., is nearing completion. The bridge was damaged beyond repair in 2011 by Tropical Storm Lee, and the project also involves the reconstruction of approximately half a mile of railroad track.

The bridge and track are owned by and are being rebuilt by SEDA-COG Joint Rail Authority under the direction of Jeffrey Stover, executive director. The bridge is called the Lycoming Valley Railroad Bridge No. 195.68 over Loyalsock Creek in Montoursville, Lycoming County, Pa.

The bridge reconstruction was bid in June 2013, started in July 2013, and will be finished in July 2014. The bid amount was $9.1 million, and the project is currently on schedule. The bridge was designed by John Conrad, P.E., railroad consultant, and Keller Engineers of Holidaysburg, Pa.

The new bridge is being built by Glenn O. Hawbaker Inc. of State College, Pa. Dan Hawbaker is the president, Dave Myers is the project superintendent, Mark Weaver is the steel foreman, and Scott Sechrist is the piling superintendent.

The scope of the project included the construction of a new three-span 475 ft. (145 m) long steel bridge consisting of Spans 1 and 3 being 119.5 ft. (36.4 m) long and 106 in. (269 cm) high through the girders, and Span 2 being a 237.75 ft. (72.5 m) long, 38.25 ft. (12 m) tall heavy truss.

The total amount of structural steel is 1.5 million lbs. (697,142 kg), with nearly 25 tons (23 t) of bolts in the truss alone. The bridge is supported by two new abutments and two new piers. These substructure units consisted of more than 2,300 cu. yds. (1,758 cu m) of concrete and more than 226,000 lbs. (102,512 kg) of reinforcing steel.

According to Bud Dover, senior project manager of Glenn O. Hawbaker Inc., the abutments and piers are supported by more than 13,300 linear ft. (4,054 m) of steel H-piling. Abutment 1 and both piers were built within sheet pile cofferdams requiring constant pumping to keep the water levels inside the cofferdams down to enable construction. Abutment 1 and both piers also were such massive concrete pours that internal cooling piping was run throughout the concrete to carefully monitor and maintain appropriate temperatures during the concrete curing periods.

“Challenges during the project included artesian springs coming up through the bottoms of the cofferdams, which greatly increased the amount of pumping necessary to keep the water level down during the substructure construction,” Dover said. “Also, many of the piles went down longer than anticipated, some over 120 feet, requiring many splices to the piles. Additionally, Span 1 and part of Span 2 had to be constructed under electric lines which reduced the length of crane boom to be used, even though the power was turned off.”

Major suppliers were High Steel of Lancaster and Williamsport, Pa., for structural steel; Titusville Fabricators of Franklin, Pa. for reinforcing steel; and Centre Concrete of State College and Montoursville, Pa. for concrete.

Major subcontractors are K.W. Reese Inc. of Mercersburg, Pa., for railroad construction; and Kevin Raker Construction of Sunbury, Pa., for installing the reinforcing.

Major equipment used included a Caterpillar 330 excavator, ICE I-19 and ICE 416 vibratory pile hammers, a Grove RT 600 crane and Link-Belt 218, 138, RT8065, and RTC8050 cranes.