Pittsburgh’s Fancourt Street Bridge Complete

Wed January 02, 2013 - Northeast Edition
Brenda Ruggiero

Demolition of the existing abutments on the Fancourt Bridge.
Demolition of the existing abutments on the Fancourt Bridge.
Demolition of the existing abutments on the Fancourt Bridge. The bridge deck on the Fancourt Bridge is demolished. The Fancourt Bridge, originally built in 1930, was rated structurally deficient and functionally obsolete.

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) job, which involved the Fancourt Street Bridge, called for the demolition of the existing deck, railing, sidewalk, structural steel girders, bearings and portions of the tops of the existing abutments and retaining walls. The scope of work also included the reconstruction of the tops of the retaining walls and abutments, installation of elastomeric bearings, erection of structural steel girders, placement of overfilled concrete steel grid deck, replacement of under bridge lighting and roadway lighting, and installation of new barrier railing.

The $1,425,000 contract was awarded to Trumbull Corporation under the direction of John Nemmer. Federal funding was used for the job, which began Sept. 27, 2012, and was completed in mid-December.

“The Fancourt Street Bridge was originally constructed on a 22 degree skew angle,” said Michael Adams, project manager of PennDOT. “Due to this extreme skew, there were many challenges in fabricating the steel girders and steel grid deck. This skew angle also made it difficult to plan and coordinate the erection of the steel girders and cross frames. The steel girders had to be placed on the bearings slightly rotated so they would be straight at the end of construction. This is because the individual girders twist as the concrete deck is placed. If the girders were erected on the bearings completely straight, then as the concrete deck was placed, they would twist and rotate out of plumb.”

The vertical clearance of the bridge was raised from 13 ft. 4 in. to 14 ft. 6 in. (4 to 4.4 m). Steel grid deck was used for the bridge flooring. The project involved 542 cu. yds. (414 cu m) of concrete, 134,065 lbs. (60,811 kg) of steel reinforcement, and nine galvanized steel girders.

Major subcontractors for the job included WMCC Incorporated, West Elizabeth, Pa., for erecting steel girders, steel grid deck, and pot bearings; Power Contracting Company, Carnegie, Pa., for highway lighting and electrical work; Matcon Diamond, Incorporated, Pittsburgh, Pa., for saw cutting the roadway, retaining walls, and abutments; Lindy Paving, Incorporated, New Galilee, Pa., for asphalt paving operations; Parking Lot Painting Company, Bethel Park, Pa., for temporary and permanent pavement marking placement; and Beth’s Barricades, Gibsonia, Pa., for maintenance and protection of traffic.

Major equipment used in the process included a Caterpillar M318D hydraulic excavator, a Caterpillar 338DL hydraulic excavator and a Demag AC 180 crane.

The bridge was originally built in 1930 and was reportedly rated structurally deficient and functionally obsolete. The work is part of an $8.7 million project to improve approximately 26 ramps and road sections that connect the area known as the Golden Triangle to the interstate highway system.

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