ASCE and ASHE Joint Meeting - Frankford Avenue Bridge: Rehabilitation of the Oldest Bridge in the United States (1 PDH)
The Frankford Avenue Bridge, built in 1697, is the oldest continuously-used roadway bridge in the United States. It is a three-span stone masonry arch bridge over Pennypack Creek in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The bridge remains true to its original form, even after undergoing many construction and repair campaigns during the last three centuries. The bridge is significant for its engineering and transportation history and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1988.
PennDOT, Engineering District 6-0 and TranSystems developed a rehabilitation program to address continued deterioration and recent collision damage. The intent of the program was to sensitively address the bridge’s structural deficiencies while maintaining its historic character and integrity.
The scope of the rehabilitation program included in-kind reconstruction of the spandrel walls and wingwalls; cleaning, repairing and repointing of the stone masonry; and removal of the earth fill between the spandrel walls and beneath the roadway and replacing it with lightweight concrete fill. The sidewalks were reconstructed in-kind and a new crashworthy roadway barrier was installed between the sidewalk and the roadway. The existing decorative pedestrian railing was salvaged, repaired, painted and reinstalled on the new sidewalks. The concrete arch liners were repaired and scour protection measures were placed around the abutments and piers. A utility bay was created in the center of the bridge to accommodate the numerous buried utilities.
The presentation will discuss the bridge history, the design process, the sympathetic construction techniques utilized for the bridge rehabilitation, and the Section 106 coordination efforts that occurred both during design and construction ensuring a successful project from all perspectives. Undocumented construction details uncovered during the construction activities will be presented and discussed.
Michael J. Cuddy, PE, Principal/Sr. Vice President (TranSystems)
Alex Craft, Project Manager (Loftus)
Location, time and registration details forthcoming