Bridge Replacement Project

Challenge & Solution

Bridge inspections documented the dilapidation of two bridges in Erie County, Pennsylvania. The bridges were initially constructed in 1922 and 1917, respectively, and have displayed significant structural wear and tear.  The two bridges qualified for financial aid from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) via programs designed to aid municipal governments with the financial costs associated with bridge replacements.

The conditions of the existing bridges, and their failure to meet current bridge weight and approach standards, resulted in the proposed replacement of the structures.

Rhea was solicited by an engineering firm to provide Foundation Reports for the bridges submitted to PennDOT for approval.

Project Description & Highlights

The proposed structure recommended for Bridge #1 was a box culvert constructed on a mat footing on soil.  For Bridge #2, both deep and shallow foundations were investigated – either spread footings on soil or piling on rock.

The project incorporated several phases.  The first was a literature search, which included a site visit and was summarized in a Reconnaissance Soils and Geological Engineering Report (RSGER).  The second phase was the development and implementation of a subsurface investigation.  This phase involved the development of a Subsurface Boring, Sampling, and Testing Contract (SBSTC) delivered to drilling companies who bid on the subsurface investigation work.

Subsurface cross sections were developed during the investigation to aid in the selection of soil and rock samples for laboratory testing.  Upon completion of the laboratory testing, the information gathered, and the geotechnical engineering analyses and recommendations were summarized in the Foundation Reports.

Rhea completed each phase on time, within budget, and provided products that required few changes during the review process.  When it was decided, late in the project design phase, to use integral abutments at Bridge #2, Rhea quickly reviewed the integral abutment spreadsheet and provided the Client with the required geotechnical input. 


North Carolina