- Pennsylvania Department of Transportation
- Medium and Short Span Bridges
The Susquehanna River Bridge between Plymouth Borough and Hanover Township in Luzerne County had become structurally deficient and functionally obsolete. Connecting communities for over 50 years, the time had come for it to be replaced. There were many challenges, both technical and context-sensitive, that the new design had to address:
- Twelve miles of trails on the top of the levee system on both sides of the river were being developed and required connections to key bridges within its reach.
- The proposed alignment of the new bridge crosses a valley heavily mined for coal, requiring that filled shafts and mine workings be avoided.
- The river hydraulics are complicated because the new bridge crosses the Susquehanna River in a region where it is divided into two channels by a low, sandy island.
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) selected the trusted firm of Modjeski and Masters, designers of 10 Susquehanna River Bridges, to develop the preliminary design. Working with the public and affected stakeholders, our creative bridge engineers developed both a concrete and steel alternative for the $25 million, 2,400-foot crossing. The south abutment was designed to allow for direct access from the bridge sidewalk to the pedestrian/bikeway trail on top of the levee. Our problem solvers also developed a variety of foundation types to accommodate the variable depths to bedrock – friction piles, end bearing piles and spread footings. In addition, our experienced engineers optimized the hydraulic efficiency of the substructure by utilizing three different foundation orientations – one for each of the three flow regions of the river. And to add value and savings during construction, the pier shafts were constructed normal to the longitudinal axis of the bridge.
This was one of the first major bridges in the District which utilized the “Modified Turnkey” method of project delivery. Staying true to our commitment beyond completion, M&M was awarded the preliminary design of the Eighth Street Bridge, yet another Susquehanna River Bridge in the same District.
John M. Kulicki, PhD, PE, SE (Principal-In-Charge)
Thomas P. Lavin, PE (Highway Engineer)
Chad Clancy, PE (Structural Engineer)
Scott Eshenaur, PE (Structural Engineer)