Outstanding Engineering Achievement of the Year
Owners: Allegheny County Department of Public Works & PennDOT Engineering District 11-0
Designer of Record: SAI Consulting Engineers, Inc.
General Contractor: Golden Triangle Construction Company
Construction Inspection: RIG Consulting, Inc., Michael Baker International
The Outstanding Engineering Achievement Award is presented to a significant project within the Pittsburgh area. This year’s award recipient is the Kenmawr Bridge Replacement Project located in Swissvale and Rankin Boroughs in Allegheny County, PA. Kenmawr Bridge replaced a structural deficient single span steel structure with a new 122 feet long two span, steel girder bridge which spans Norfolk Southern Railroad Company’s rail lines. The new bridge required 3 to 4 feet of additional vertical clearance over the existing rail lines which required over 500 feet of approach roadway reconstruction and retaining walls in both directions. Lengthening of the bridge was also necessary to accommodate the future expansion of the Port Authority of Allegheny County’s Martin Luther King East Busway. New traffic signals, lighting systems, waterlines, and sewers, were also part of the project. Due to the bridge’s importance to the traffic network for the area, the construction required the installation of a temporary bridge and roadway throughout the majority of the construction.
The final construction costs of the project were $12.4 million, slightly under the total bid, with no significant additional costs incurred during construction. The project was completed on time in November 2021 and with no major redesigns or incidents, despite the congested urban nature and complexity of the construction.
Shortly after the physical start of construction for the project, on March 17, 2020, PA Governor Wolf ordered all construction projects to halt. During the shutdown, Golden Triangle Construction in cooperation with PennDOT District 11 developed an approved COVID-19 Safety Plan and Procedure Manual that would allow for the restart of the project approximately 6 weeks later. All project meetings went remote, and the crews of Golden Triangle Construction and their subcontractors resumed construction activities under the unfamiliar environment of trying to perform their jobs during a worldwide pandemic. The construction workers and inspection team are to be commended for their efforts to achieve all the major milestones and complete the project on time and within budget.