Designing and constructing a new expressway has its own set of challenges – complying with environmental regulations, managing the expectation of affected stakeholders, and traversing the pristine terrain with a cost-effective facility. Those were just a few of the challenges the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) faced when developing the Southern Beltway, a 32-mile long expressway with a radius of approximately 15 miles out from Pittsburgh’s Golden Triangle. The first six miles of the Southern Beltway, referred to as the Findlay Connector, extend south from Route 60 at the Pittsburgh International Airport to Route 22. The alignment called for a new major crossing over an existing steep stream valley.
Working with the public and affected stakeholders, Modjeski and Masters' (M&M) creative bridge engineers developed five alternatives in both concrete and steel, for this $6.5 million, 600-foot crossing. The selected alternative features piers with heights approaching 100 feet, dual structures, aesthetically-appealing tulip-shaped piers, and a three-span continuous steel plate girder superstructure. M&M developed the span arrangement for a reduced number of piers to minimize the bridge footprint, ultimately reducing the environmental impact. Our technical experts used high performance steel for the girder design – a material with added value due to its lower future maintenance costs. Our forward-thinking engineering team sized the substructure to accommodate future widening with minimal impact on the environment, traveling public, and the aesthetics of the structure.
|Length of Main Span||235 Feet|
|Total Project Length||618 Feet|
|Number of Lanes on Structure||Two Lanes|