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Total Reconstruction of Pa. Turnpike Under Way

The $150 million project calls for new lanes on a heavily traveled section of the toll road.

Tue February 24, 2015 - Northeast Edition
Brenda Ruggiero

A project involving the total reconstruction and widening of the Pennsylvania Turnpike (I-76) to three lanes in each direction from Milepost 12 to Milepost 14 is currently under way in Beaver County, Pa.

The project includes two stages. Stage 1, for early bridge reconstruction, began in September 2013, and is expected to be complete in November 2015. Stage 2, for mainline reconstruction, will begin in January 2016, with completion set for December 2018.

The approximate project cost is $150 million.

The Pennsylvania Turnpike project, located in North Sewickley Township, Homewood Borough, and Big Beaver Borough in Beaver County, involves the complete replacement of the mainline bridge over the Beaver River. The mainline will be shifted to the north to accommodate traffic during construction and to avoid environmental and utility issues to the south. The exiting interchange will be reconfigured into a conventional interchange with SR 0018. The new roadway will be constructed to accommodate six lanes of traffic.

The project also involves the complete replacement of three overhead structures, a mainline bridge over SR 0018, a culvert extension over Thompson Run, the replacement of the ramp bridge over SR 0018 (for use until the interchange reconfiguration is completed), and a new retaining wall within the reconfigured interchange.

The construction team includes ALCM of California, Pa., as construction manager; CDR Maguire of Doral, Fla., as lead design engineer; and Joseph B. Fay of Pittsburgh and Mosites Construction Co. of Pittsburgh as contractors.

The two early action overhead structures which carry Norfolk Southern Railroad are currently under construction and will be replaced under an early action contract. The replacement structures will be two span, steel, thru-girder bridges, with Mosites Construction Co. as the construction contractor.

Bridge No. WB-207, a single span thru-truss railroad structure carrying Norfolk Southern Railroad over the Pennsylvania Turnpike, will be replaced with a two-span thru-girder structure.

Bridge No. WB-208, a single span thru-girder railroad structure carrying Norfolk Southern Railroad over the Pennsylvania Turnpike, will be replaced with a two-span thru-girder structure. This portion also involves a post and plank retaining wall, construction of two railroad roadbeds, and associated drainage features.

“A major challenge with the erection and construction of these railroad bridges is the size of the new girders and the close proximity of the existing railroad bridge and turnpike traffic, which has required crane sizes larger than typically used for steel erection,” said Derrick Jeannerette, Mosites project manager.

The crane used is a Manitowoc 2250 series, with a 249,000-lb. (112,944 kg) counter weight and a 130-ft. (39.6 m) boom that can lift up to 281,000 lbs. (127,459 kg). Two smaller cranes on each side will be used to lift the smaller beams and the temporary piers. They are a Liebherr LTM 1250 crane and a Grove TMS 9000 crane, with 55-ton (50 t) shackles, EFCO erection towers and a Polyflex lifting sling. The largest beam is 208,462 lbs. (94,556 kg).

In addition, a temporary bridge was built to replace the current bridge WB-210A, which carries the current Exit 13 Ramps over SR 0018. The temporary bridge was required due to the poor condition of the existing structure and the lack of clearance over SR 0018.

Joseph B. Fay was the contractor on the recently completed contract, which replaced the Exit 13 Ramp B over SR 0018. Although this ramp bridge will be eliminated in the final interchange configuration, the immediate replacement was necessitated due to the poor condition of the existing structure and the lack of clearance over SR 0018.

The Replacement of Bridge No. WB-210A at Milepost 12.76 involves the replacement of a three-span steel stringer bridge with a single span bridge, the design/build installation of a retaining wall, the design/build modification of the Ramp B highway lighting, and the realignment of Ramp B over SR 0018 (Big Beaver Boulevard).

The last early action contract will be the replacement of the Homewood viaduct section over the Turnpike and the realignment of Foxwood Road.

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