This Pennsylvania Turnpike bridge span near Pittsburgh is being replaced Sept. 22-25.

By Mark Holan, editorial director, ARTBA

Four ARTBA member firms are involved in first-ever accelerated bridge construction (ABC) projects on the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

Traffic in Beaver County north of Pittsburgh is set to be detoured from 9 p.m. Sept. 22 through 4 a.m. Sept. 25 as crews replace a 150-foot long span using the technique. A similar ABC project on the Turnpike’s Northeast Extension in Lehigh County near Allentown is scheduled for Sept. 29-Oct. 2, as the existing 131-foot long bridge is replaced by a 115-foot span.

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission says this is the first time it has used ABC on the 552-mile toll-road system. The original 160-mile turnpike opened Oct. 1, 1940. The bridge north of Pittsburgh opened to traffic in 1951, and today carries about 40,000 vehicles per day.

While motorists will face lengthy, short-term detours around each project, ABC offers long-term advantages, Turnpike Commission CEO Mark Compton said.

“The Accelerated Bridge Construction process is a safe, cost-effective way to replace bridges within a short timeframe while improving safety for workers and motorists in construction zones,” he said. “It also eliminates the need for months or years of single-lane traffic patterns and other travel restrictions.”

Major contributors to the projects, according to the Turnpike website, include these ARTBA members:

Beaver project:

  • Construction Contractor: Brayman Construction Corp., Saxonburg, Pa.
  • Construction Management and Inspection: STV Inc., Douglassville, Pa.

Lehigh project:

  • Engineering-Design: HDR Inc., Bethlehem, Pa.
  • Construction Contractor: Road-Con Inc., West Chester, Pa.
  • Construction Management and Inspection: STV Inc., Douglassville, Pa.