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New Structure Over Lick Run Creek Provides Safe Travel

Thu July 09, 2009 - National Edition
Jennifer Rupp

Lick Run Bridge (SR 879) in Clearfield County is undergoing major renovations this summer. The structurally deficient single-span bridge leads to a steep hill and “hairpin” turn on SR 879. Surrounding the bridge have been numerous embankment failures causing roadslides that require constant maintenance.

“We’re basically killing two birds with one stone on this project,” said Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) Project Manager Dave Karp. To address both the bridge and embankment issues, PennDOT, along with prime contractor Glen O. Hawbaker, is constructing a five-span continuous composite prestressed concrete I-beam bridge and realigning the roadway. The new structure has a 9 percent grade with a 7.7 percent super-elevation.

The location of the $11.6 million project is approximately 1 mi. (1.6 km) north of the intersection of SR 879 and SR 80 (exit 120). The existing single span steel girder structure will be removed and replaced with the 640-ft. (195 m) five-span bridge.

Hawbaker was contracted for the excavation, bridge work and paving. Construction of the approach and roadway consists of Superpave asphalt mixture designs for the base, binder and wearing courses. Hawbaker also is installing new drainage, including 18, 24, 36 and 48-in. (45.7, 61, 91.4 and 122 cm) pipe, inlets, and a pavement base drain.

Subcontractor Alvarez Inc. of Finleyville, Pa., is setting the bridge beams. Green Acres Contracting Company Inc. of Scottdale, Pa., is supplying guide rails and seeding. Kevin E. Raker Construction Inc. of Sunbury, Pa., is performing the rebar tying. The maintenance and traffic protection on the job site is provided by Rae-Lyn Enterprises Inc. of Spring Church, Pa.. Brundage-Bone & Blanchet LLC of Laurel, Md., was contracted for the bridge deck concrete pumping. Jilco Inc. of Roaring Spring, Pa., is applying the penetrating seal around the bridge.

The project began in March 2008, and though it is slated for completion by December 2009, Karp said that the project will be wrapped up about two months ahead of schedule.

“In the original plan, SR 879 wasn’t going to be detoured until after the new bridge was opened,” said Karp. “We decided to do the work concurrently and that’s put us ahead of schedule.”

Motorists and tractor trailers are using SR 970 and I-80 to navigate around the project. The contract calls for the bridge to be open by early August, with the approach work and realignment following soon after.

Although no complications have occurred during the construction phase, PennDOT preempted a hurdle by core-boring the earth on the west side of the bridge for analysis. The sub-surface showed traces of pyrite. PennDOT included provisions in the contract to have the rock treated and hauled to waste facility.

“Each truck load is treated with 1,500 lbs. of lime, then it is tarped and hauled to Waroquier Coal Inc. in Cleafield, Pa.,” said Karp.

The waste site is DEP (Department of Environmental Protection) approved and the contract calls for 89,000 cu. yds. (68,045 cu m) of disposed material. All areas with water around the project site will be monitored monthly for changes in PH levels.

Pre-construction work around the bridge included the protection of a historical area. The stone foundations beneath the bridge represent one of original settlements in the Goshen area. Before the bridge work began, matting and geotextile was laid as a barrier to preserve the foundation. When the bridge is complete, the contractor will remove the barrier and the stone foundation will be visible.

Crews are using 2,361 cu. yds. (1,805 cu m) of Class A concrete on the footers for the abutment piers and lower portions of the bridge. The parapet walls and continuity diaphragms on the decks over four piers require 449 cu. yds. (343 cu m) of Class AA concrete, and the Class AAA deck concrete totals 966 cu. yds (738 cu m).

Subcontractor Poly-Carb of Solon, Ohio, is using an anti-icing system that is new to PennDOT District 2. The process involves applying an epoxy resin to the surface of the deck at a specified rate to enhance skid resistance. It is designed to enhance skid resistance while keeping anti-icing winter maintenance materials on the deck surface, prolonging their effect.

“Other districts have been using this treatment but this will be the first time for us,” said Karp. “Additional bridges in Clearfield County are in line for the anti-icing treatment as well.”

The cost for the treatment for the Lick Run Bridge is $122,000. CEG

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