Mascaro Assembles Arsenal on Bradford Bypass Project

Wed November 15, 2006 - Northeast Edition
David Hunt

Mascaro Construction, of Pittsburgh, Pa., has assembled an arsenal of heavy equipment on Route 219 to complete an ambitious two-year, $55-million project to rebuild the Bradford Bypass in northcentral Pennsylvania.

So far, Mascaro has:

• widened and rerouted traffic onto the existing northbound lanes in order to reconstruct the southbound lanes this year;

• begun excavating the existing southbound lanes for reconstruction; and

• begun demolition work on the southbound side of six existing dual bridges as traffic passes on the existing northbound side.

This past summer, Mascaro ran a Caterpillar D6R with Topcon GPS grading system, a Kobelco 480 backhoe and a variety of heavy dump trucks to excavate the southbound lanes of the existing Route 219.

Behind the excavation crew, Mascaro fine graded the southbound lanes using a Caterpillar 12H with Topcon GPS system. Some of the excavated material was used for a retaining wall on the project while the remaining material was donated to the city of Bradford.

In all, the massive Route 219 rebuilding project — which towers over the city of Bradford — will require a total 242,900 cu. yds. of excavation.

Jeff Stouden, project engineer of Mascaro, said the firm is running excavating equipment that includes two Caterpillar D4s, a D5 with foldable blade and two D6s. Excavating equipment also includes a Caterpillar 930 wheel loader, Caterpillar 330 and 480 backhoes, three Kobelco 330 backhoes and one Kobelco 480 backhoe.

Brian Brosius, project engineer of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), said bridge work on the project involves total reconstruction, all the way down to the piling.

The new Bradford bridges will include:

• a single-span, 95-ft. (29 m) bridge over Elm Street in Bradford to be reconstructed at a cost of $776,000;

• a single-span, 105-ft. (32 m) bridge over Main Street to be reconstructed at a total cost of $1.7 million;

• a four-span, 390-ft. (119 m) steel girder bridge over Forman Street and Tunungwant Creek to be reconstructed at a total cost of $4.5 million;

• a four-span, 595-ft. (181 m) steel girder bridge over Mill Street and the Buffalo and Pacific Railroad to be reconstructed for a total cost of $6.3 million;

• a single-span, 120-ft. (37 m) prestressed concrete I-beam bridge over Kendall Avenue to be reconstructed at a cost of $2.4 million; and

• a single-span, 60-ft. (18 m) prestressed concrete spread box beam bridge over Bolivar Run to be reconstructed at a cost of $692,000

Subcontractor Bob Cummins Construction, of Bradford, Pa., is demolishing the old spans on the southbound side. Cummins has already demolished the bridges over Elm Street, Forman Street and Mill Street. The firm is now removing the bridge over Kendall Street.

Brosius said piling for the old bridges has generally remained in place, though some of it had to be extracted to create support for the new bridges. He said some of the new piers will be placed on different skews. He added that the small, older bridges will be replaced with larger, more modern ones.

While the demolition work continues, subcontractor Herbert F. Darling of Williamsville, N.Y., is working at the same site, driving new piles for structures on the project.

Brosius said a total of 37,000 linear ft. (11,278 m) of piling will be driven on the job.

Darling, the subcontractor, drove temporary shoring to reinforce the embankments. Then, the subcontractor began to drive piles into sandy soil to support the structures. Brosius said the firm has completed piling work on the bridges over Elm Street and Forman Street. He said sandy soil on the site has forced the firm to drive piles 180 ft (55 m) to find support for the bridge over Elm Street.

Mascaro also is completing the project with two Caterpillar H90s hydraulic hammers with 1,000-lb. (453.6 kg) hoe ram attachments for breaking concrete on the bridge approaches. The firm also is running Terex 25 and 27 articulating dump trucks as well as a Caterpillar 735 35-ton (31.8 t) articulated truck for hauling waste. The firm also is using a Caterpillar CS563D roller to compact base material on the roadway. It also is using a Caterpillar 12H grader and a Ditch Witch Barreto four wheel drive trencher with 36-in. boom.

When the bypass restoration is complete, Brosius said the project will use a total of 2 million lbs. (907,185 kg) of reinforcing bar, and 3.5 million lbs. (1.5 million kg) of fabricated structural steel.

Brosius, of PennDOT, said one of the most challenging parts of his job is keeping the public up-to-date with changing traffic patterns.

“The bypass travels over the city of Bradford and access to Route 219 has changed weekly,” said Brosius. “We have been issuing media releases each week and calling emergency services personnel and other members of the community. At this point, I think the community understands what’s happening here. We aren’t getting a lot of complaints.”

Brosius said DMJM Harris, of Pittsburgh, Pa., designed the Route 219 Bradford Bypass project. The lone PennDOT representative on the project, Brosius, said consultant inspection is being completed by Erdman Anthony of Harrisburg, Pa., with a staff of 16 people working on the project. CEG

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