Schuylkill County Bridge 28 Rehabilitation

Schuylkill County Commissioners
East Brunswick Township, Pennsylvania

LDG provided bridge design and engineering services for the rehabilitation of County Bridge 28 carrying Wild Turkey Lane (T- 848) over the Little Schuylkill River in East Brunswick Township, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania. Originally built in 1956, the bridge was a three-span, non-composite, prestressed adjacent box beam bridge with a bituminous overlay. The bridge had a posted weight limit of 32 tons (40 tons for combinations) and was exhibiting signs of wear including evidence of water leakage at both abutments, advanced scour exposing the top of the concrete footings at both piers, and spall on the bottom of several beams.

The rehabilitation included replacing the existing adjacent box beams on each of the three spans with 48 x 21-inch prestressed concrete spread box beams and a reinforced concrete deck. The existing concrete piers, abutments, and wingwalls, which were still serviceable, received new reinforced concrete caps. Because these elements did not require replacement, the rehabilitation was focused on the bridge’s superstructure. This reduced the project’s construction cost and duration as well as the environmental impacts when compared to replacing the entire bridge. Using the existing piers and abutments also allowed the rehabilitated bridge to maintain the original structure’s hydraulic clearance, preventing any negative upstream impact relative to flooding risk or severity. Sediment deposits were also removed from the channel downstream from pier 2, restoring the flow capacity of the stream. Alternate concrete barriers (TL-4 Barrier) were used on both sides of the structure, reducing the bridge’s dead load and improving safety by increasing the sight distance for motorist. The original substandard guide rails at both ends of the bridge were replaced with guide rails meeting current PennDOT design standards. Finally, since the existing bridge is a scour critical bridge with an FHWA-mandated scour action plan, rock protection was placed at the abutments and the piers to address the bridge scour.

To successfully complete the project, LDG coordinated with Schuylkill County, owner of the bridge, and East Brunswick Township, owner of the road carried by the bridge. Additional coordination took place with the local school district, emergency service providers, and first responders regarding posted detours; adjacent property owners for temporary construction easements; PADEP for waterway permits, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission for an aid to navigation plan; PADCNR for the Pennsylvania scenic rivers system signage; and PA One Call and individual utility companies regarding utilities present at the project site.