Pedestrian Bridge Investigation
Challenge & Solution
A park in Allegheny County, PA was in need of improvements for the safety of its visitors and natural habitat. Currently, a pedestrian footpath and Frisbee-golf course circle through the park surrounding the lake; however, the path along the southeastern portion of the lake crosses a known wetland and frequently floods. This flooding forces pedestrians to exit the designated path into the wetland area, disturbing the native plant and animal habitats.
Rhea was chosen to investigate the park’s conditions, propose a mitigation plan, and secure a permit for the construction of a bridge to avoid future disturbances.
Project Description & Highlights
The local government and architect proposed the construction of a small pedestrian bridge that would span the wetland area, eliminating disturbance to the surrounding area. Rhea was contracted to perform a wetland delineation study to determine the extent of wetlands present at the proposed construction site.
In order to obtain approval for the bridge construction, Rhea was required to complete the wetland construction permitting process through the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP). This process involved further evaluation of existing wetlands, the completion of a Pennsylvania Natural Diversity Inventory (PNDI) search, and the completion and submittal of PADEP-issued permit (BDWM-General Permit-7 for Minor Road Crossings), which involved a site-specific Wetland Mitigation Plan and Erosion and Sediment Control Plan.
Rhea also collected soil borings as part of a geotechnical evaluation to determine soil properties at the proposed bridge foundation locations.
During this project, Rhea followed the PADEP wetland construction permitting process. Although the bridge construction has not yet taken place, Rhea was able to complete all required permitting in a timely manner, allowing this project to progress according to schedule.