Award of Merit Highway/Bridges, US 219 New Highway Construction, Bridges Construction Phase

U.S. 219 New Highway Construction, Bridges Construction Phase
Somerset and Meyersdale, Pa.
Award of Merit

ENR Award of Merit US 219

Owner: Pennsylvania Dept. of Transportation, District 9
Lead Design Firm: CDI-L.R. Kimball
General Contractor: Fay, an i+icon USA Co.
Subcontractors: Alvarez Erectors Inc.; Steel Core Construction; McCrossin Foundations; Douglass Pile; Howard Concrete Pumping

The project team says technology played a central role in the $68.3-million plan to construct five dual bridges within an 11-mile section of the planned 1,500-mile Continental 1 international trade corridor, connecting Canada with Florida.

GPS and 3D imaging allowed project leaders to assess construction progress accurately, verify completion to precise specifications and immediately address potential problems. Drones assisted with inspecting final as-built conditions, and the team says they were particularly valuable in verifying slope material quantities and conditions in high-elevation areas.

Advanced construction estimating software helped identify key value-engineering opportunities, such as a roadway alignment shift that eliminated the need for an additional reinforced slope.

During the nearly three-year project, the team constructed more than 2,200 linear ft of bridges, the longest of which were the 1,100-ft dual structures at Buffalo Creek. Piers for the 220-ft-high bridges were placed from work baskets hung from a 300-ton crane with 300 ft of boom.

Besides using high-tech tools, the team paid attention to the needs of the natural world. To protect endangered species, such as the Indiana bat and longnose sucker fish, the phased construction plan limited blasting, drilling, pile driving, tree removal and other disruptive land and stream activities to specific times of the year.

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