The Bradford County Commissioners and team members from Larson Design Group (LDG) held a ribbon-cutting event on June 21 for the reopening of a bridge over Towanda Creek that was destroyed by flooding in 2018.
County Bridge No. 21 on Kellogg Road, which spans the South Branch of Towanda Creek, presented a challenging set of circumstances after the 2018 flooding. There were no signs of the previous pier or superstructure and the channel banks had been radically changed. The north and south abutments were severely damaged, and the northeast channel bank was heavily eroded. This erosion also meant that the water main that serves Towanda had significantly less cover and would have to be located and protected during construction to avoid damaging it during the pier construction.
LDG, who served as Design Engineer, and the contractor, Susquehanna Valley Construction Company, designed and built a new two-lane, two-span prestressed concrete bulb-tee bridge on pile-supported concrete abutments and pier. Construction began in July 2021 but was delayed when the creek flooded again on July 19, wiping out all remaining large rock protection and a significant amount of northeast streambank. It also exposed the Towanda Municipal Authority’s water main at the upstream corner of the far abutment.
Immediate coordination was started by Bradford County and LDG to estimate the damages, coordinate potential funding with FEMA, and meet with the TMA for watermain decisions. After this coordination and additional easements granted for construction and future maintenance access, the waterline work was completed on September 29, 2021, and the bridge deck was placed on April 5 and 6, 2022. The project achieved the original final completion date of June 24, 2022.
“We are thrilled with the outcome of the project given the complexity of the replacement and additional damage that was sustained during the project,” said Bradford County Planner Matthew Williams. “The design team and contractor were able to quickly assess the issues that arose and recommend practices that will ensure the integrity of the new structure well into the future.”
“Our design and construction team overcame significant obstacles to keep this project on schedule, and we were proud to deliver to Bradford County a vastly improved bridge project prepared to stand the test of time,” said Duane Daniels, LDG Project Manager.
Founded in 1986, LDG is an award-winning, 100 percent employee-owned national architecture, engineering and consulting firm with 15 offices in seven states and a vision to elevate client relationships, enrich the careers and lives of its employee-owners, and enhance the communities in which it operates.
Our Bridge Design Team offers a range of services in bridge engineering, including design for small to medium span bridge structures; pedestrian, railroad, equestrian, and aqueduct projects; bridge and covered bridge rehabilitations; and bridge bundling projects. For more information, visit Transportation Engineering – Larson Design Group.