WBCM provided all designs, plans, and utility coordination for the replacement of the bridge carrying Rausch Road over Kettle Creek in Abbott Township, Potter County, Pennsylvania. The existing structurally-deficient and functionally-obsolete bridge was replaced with a Geosynthetic Reinforced Soils-Integrated Bridge System (GRS-IBS) abutment bridge – the first of its kind on a PennDOT road. The new abutments were constructed behind the existing abutments, which served as scour protection and stream diversion during construction. The reinforced mass behind the abutment face ensures minimal settlement and allows the placement of driving surface aggregate instead of bituminous pavement. The use of GRS-IBS abutments, an Accelerated Bridge Construction (ABC) technique, and box-beam superstructure allowed the replacement to be constructed in a two-month window between July 4, 2014, and September 1, 2014, at a cost that was 35-40% lower than a conventional bridge design.
Design and construction took into account Kettle Creek’s environmentally sensitive nature. It is designated as an exceptional value (EV) stream, as a Class A wild trout stream, and as part of the wild brook trout enhancement program. As a result, in-stream activities are restricted between October 1 – April 1 (Class A) and March 1 and June 15 (Approved Trout Waters Regulations).
WBCM was able to work with PennDOT to embrace the Federal Highway Administration’s Every Day Counts initiative. Every Day Counts encourages innovation in the design, construction, and operation of highway projects in an environmentally sustainable manner.
The Rausch Road over Kettle Creek bridge replacement received a 2015 ACEC/PA Diamond Award Certificate.
PennDOT District 2.0
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Environmental Water Resources