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Mansion House at D&L Trail over Lehigh River

Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania

Pedestrian Overpass

Owner:

Carbon County

Contractor:

Latona Trucking

Installation:

March 2018

Technical Description:

• Continental® Pedestrian Truss
• Width: 10 ft
• Span: 250 ft
• Style: Gateway
• Finish: Weathering Steel
• Decking: IPE Hardwood

Since the purpose of the Delaware and Lehigh National Heritage Corridor (D&L) is to "preserve the historic pathway that carried coal and iron from Wilkes-Barre to Philadelphia," it was imperative that the original pedestrian structure carrying the trail over the Lehigh River be replaced. The original structure was washed out by flooding, so a replacement structure was needed to close the gap along the 165 mile long trail. Initially conceived in D&L's 1992 Management Action Plan, the original trail project was funded by grants from Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT). 

"The Mansion House bridge was 25 years in the making," stated Elissa Garafalo, Executive Director with D&L. "Seeing it installed was like a dream come true for me and many others. The dramatic site [of the new bridge] is near the site of a historic bridge that once served the Lehigh Valley Railroad. It connects the northern Anthracite Region of the D&L Trail with the central Lehigh Valley region in Jim Thorpe, making nearly 165 miles of continuous biking and hiking possible."

Wilson Consulting Group, PC (WCG), the project's engineer, consulted with Contech Engineered Solutions to determine the best replacement option. In the end, a 250' span x 10' wide Gateway®-style Continental® Pedestrian Truss was selected as the best solution to complete the trail system and provide pedestrians with safe passage over the river. With flooding common in the area, the new structure was situated approximately 17 feet above the average river level. 

"Contech provided exceptional, timely and professional services throughout the preliminary and final design of this project," stated David Kapura, PE, Structures Engineer with WCG. "Contech's Truss Consultant was a true asset to this project and was readily available to answer all of our questions."

After the bridge was delivered to the site in six pieces, it was assembled into two halves, with one half on either side of the river. The two sections were then launched via two cranes over the river, and a manlift was used to make the final bolted connection splices before the nearly 125 ton bridge was set into place on the concrete abutments. Installation of the bridge, including staging, pre-assembly and final erection, occurred in just one week. Additionally, ramps and walls were added to the structure to make it compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

"Taking on a project such as spanning the Lehigh River is ambitious," said Luke Thomas, Chief Estimator with Latona Trucking. "We eagerly sought the challenge and with the support of the Contech team, we were able to complete the project on time, within budget and have a very satisfied customer."

Funding for the bridge design and installation was provided by grants from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, the Department of Community and Economic Development, the William Penn Foundation through D&L and the Carbon County hotel tax.

Technical Description:

• Continental® Pedestrian Truss
• Width: 10 ft
• Span: 250 ft
• Style: Gateway
• Finish: Weathering Steel
• Decking: IPE Hardwood

800-338-1122 | www.ContechES.com

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