MUST SEE: Turnpike Replaces Bridge In 55 Hours

Credit: Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission

It took the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission just 55 hours to demolish and replace a bridge in the western portion of the state.

I-76 was closed last Friday from 9 p.m. through Monday at 4 a.m. as crews demolished a bridge and replaced the 150-foot-long span that crosses the Brush Creek in New Sewickley Township, Beaver County, in an almost unheard of amount of time.

Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission officials said that an engineering technique called Accelerated Bridge Construction (ABC) was used to shorten the timeframe and replace the 65-year-old bridge in the matter of a weekend rather than a year or longer.

For the past several months, crews have been building the replacement bridge on slides. Once the Turnpike closed Friday, demolition on the old bridge commenced and the new span was slid into place and locked in before Monday’s commute.

“The Accelerated Bridge Construction process is a safe, cost-effective way to replace bridges within a short timeframe while improving safety for workers and motorists in construction zones,” Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission CEO Mark Compton said. “It also eliminates the need for months or years of single-lane traffic patterns and other travel restrictions.”

The bridge replacement marked the first time the Turnpike has used ABC to replace a bridge, but PennDOT has used the system on other bridges.

Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission officials said another ABC bridge replacement is planned for the Turnpike’s Northeast Extension in South Whitehall Township, Lehigh County, but has been delayed after a slight shift in the slide was discovered.

About the author

Tom Sofield

Tom Sofield

Tom Sofield has covered news in Bucks County for five years for both newspaper and online publications. In 2012, Tom was honored at the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association Foundation's Keystone Press Awards for his coverage of President Obama's visit to Falls Township in 2011. When he's not covering news in the area, Tom enjoys checking out the newest restaurants and bars, exploring forgotten places of industry in the area, going to local parks and spending time with his friends and family. If there's one thing you should know about Tom, he is a local news junkie through and through. Email: Phone: 215-431-1001