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Work Continues on Quartet of Bridges Along I-80 in Pa.

Wed February 15, 2012 - Northeast Edition
Jennifer Rupp

Just a few miles west of Black Moshannon State Park in Pennsylvania lies the small town of Kylertown in Clearfield County. Frequent travelers on I-80 may know this exit for its truck stop, but the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) has zeroed in on the area for the replacement of four structurally deficient bridges.

The I-80 bridges over SR 53 and SR 2037 were high priorities on the list of bridge replacements throughout the state. For the crossing of each state route, there are east and westbound bridges, for a total of four structure replacements. The total project cost is $10 million.

Glenn O. Hawbaker Inc., working out of its State College office, is the prime contractor on the job. The company’s main responsibilities include bridge demolition, construction of the new bridges and paving on the 1.5 mi. (2.4 km) stretch.

The original plan for this design/build project called for replacing the concrete box beam bridges over SR 2037 in 2011, and following with the steel plate girder bridges over SR 53 in 2012. Hawbaker conveyed to PennDOT that the steel girders could indeed be supplied in 2011; therefore the schedule was changed to replace the westbound concrete and steel bridges leaving the eastbound bridge replacements for the 2012 construction season. This decision minimized traveler impacts by affecting traffic in one direction on I-80 per season, versus lane closures in both the east and westbound directions each year.

Traffic was shifted to the I-80 westbound passing lanes in 2011 while constructing each bridge half width upon demolition completion of the travel lane portion of the existing bridges. By December 2011, the passing lane side of each bridge was completed. The same plan will be put into place for the eastbound bridges this year.

Spanning SR 53

The I-80 east and westbound bridges over SR 53 are three-span continuous composite steel plate girder bridges. They were built in 1967 and are each 259 ft. (78.9 m) in length. American Bridge Manufacturing of Coraopolis, Pa., is supplying 431,000 lbs. (195,498 kg) of structural steel for the westbound bridge. This bridge also requires 1,424 cu. yds. (1,088 cu m) of concrete, and 245,000 lbs. (111,130 kg) of rebar. Kevin E. Raker Construction LLC. of Sunbury, Pa., is tying the rebar, installing deck pans, and welding sheer studs on the SR 53 bridges.

To raise the grade of the roadway over SR 53 the 2 ft. (.6 m) required by design, 8,000 tons (7.2 t) of asphalt will be used (4,000 each [3,629 t], eastbound and westbound).

The westbound I-80 bridge over SR 53 cost $2.2 million, and the eastbound will total $1.8 million. The eastbound structure, which is in the final design phase now, will have similar material amounts.

Spanning SR 2037

The bridges over SR 2037 are considerably smaller than those crossing SR 53. Also built in 1967, these single-span bridges are 85 ft. (25.9 m) in length, and are composed of composite pre-stressed concrete spread box beams.

The westbound I-80 bridge over SR 2037 was completed in 2011 for $1 million and used 468 cu. yds. (358 cu m) of concrete. Northeast Prestressed Products LLC supplied the new pre-stressed concrete box beams. This bridge also called for 75,000 lbs. (34,019 kg) of rebar. The eastbound bridge over SR 2037 will, again, have similar materials and will cost $735,000.

Other Work

In addition to the bridgework, the existing signal at the intersection of SR 53/SR1011 was upgraded. Bruce & Merrilees of New Castle is installing new traffic signal supports, controller cabinets, signs, signal heads, video detectors and other electrical components.

Strongstown’s B&K of Strongstown is in charge of signs and setting the concrete barriers. Established Traffic Control, based in Hatfield, provides and maintains the long-term lane closure signing. Highway Marking Inc. of Friedens is doing line painting, and Green Acres Contracting, headquartered in Scottdale, is in charge of guiderails and seeding.

PennDOT plans to have the bridges fully opened by October 2012; however the official contract end date is not until June 2013. This extension allows subcontractor Poly-Carb of Solon, Ohio, to apply the epoxy surface material to the four bridge decks in warmer weather.

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