WBCM developed plans for the Altoona Pedestrian Bridge over the 10th Avenue Expressway and Conrail to link the Railroader’s Memorial Museum with Altoona’s downtown business district. WBCM solicited input from review and regulatory agencies, the technical steering committee, and the community before developing contract documents.
The major crossing is a 230-foot enclosed two-span continuous, welded, through-truss. The walkway connecting the stair towers is 15-feet wide to accommodate the hundreds of visitors who attend Altoona’s annual Railroad Museum Railfest celebration. The bridge incorporates two exhibit cases, benches, and accommodations for pushcart vendors near the center of the main span to create a tourism anchor at the central train-viewing platform. The two stair/elevator towers also have upper level porches with benches for viewing the passing trains.
A single-span through truss of similar design links Altoona’s transportation center to the main structure. The project also included streetscape and site improvements at both touchdown points and the rehabilitation of the existing 12th Street pedestrian bridge.
WBCM also designed a one-block grade-level train-viewing promenade parallel to the Norfolk-Southern right-of-way. The promenade, known as the railwalk, featured an authentic Pennsylvania Railroad passenger waiting platform and railroad crossing that has the rolling stock of the Railroaders Museum as a backdrop. A number of historic Pennsylvania Railroad crossovers were researched in the early design process and elements were incorporated into the final design.
The Altoona Pedestrian Bridge received several awards, including the 2000 ACEC/PA Diamond Award Certificate for Engineering Excellence and the 2000 ASCE-CPA Project of the Year.
City of Altoona
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