A 70-year-old bridge on Frishkorn Road was in need of repair and was actively monitored by Daugherty Township, especially after all major rain events. During back-to-back storms from Hurricanes Frances and Ivan, turbulent water flow scoured the foundations and created an extremely unstable condition. At that time, the bridge was deemed structurally deficient and in need of total replacement. Because there was no record of which agency had constructed the original structure, PennDOT recommended that the Township take the lead and use their Liquid Fuels allocation to fund a replacement structure. In addition, Beaver County recommended that the Township also apply for funding from the County’s Community Development Program.
With the bridge badly damaged after the hurricanes, Daugherty Township acted quickly to commission Daniel C. Baker Associates, Inc. as the project engineer to design a replacement bridge and to obtain all required environmental permits for the project. A complete closure of the structure to traffic was warranted to avoid a catastrophic failure. In order for residents and Emergency Management Services to maintain access to the rural residential area, a temporary roadway bypass was constructed to provide residents with an alternate route.
“The residents of Frishkorn Road were reassured by the Township that they would not go without reliable access to and from their homes and that there would be no lapse in service,” stated David Lodovico Jr., Daugherty Township Manager. “The temporary bypass and the replacement of this bridge was vital to keeping this commitment.”
Daniel C. Baker Associates, Inc. consulted with Contech who submitted a bid for an 18’ x 7’ x 18’ long Aluminum Box Culvert. Although the bridge remained a singlelane, the width was increased by 4’, allowing for a more comfortable vehicle passage. The plate structure allowed for a quick installation with the Township’s own forces and provided a major cost savings for the Township.
“The biggest obstacle was the cost,” added Lodovico. “By doing the work ourselves, it took a little longer to complete the project, but the cost savings were tremendous.”
In addition, the crown of the new structure was placed at a higher elevation in order to pass a 100-year flood event. This is a significant improvement over the old bridge which became inundated in a 25-year storm. The resulting roadway alignment also improved the site distance and increased the overall safety of the area.
Daugherty Township was recognized for this bridge replacement project at the 28th Annual Road and Bridge Safety Improvement Contest and received the runner-up award.
“We are grateful for the award’s acknowledgement but my personal hope is that it will encourage other small communities to take on similar projects that they think they can’t afford or do on their own,” concluded Lodovico. “We won one for the ‘little guy.’ We see this award as a badge of honor for small townships.”