PennDOT sought to resolve safety issues from 40 to 60 daily trains crossing the streets at-grade. Not only causing direct conflict with motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians, the trains severely inhibited connecting emergency services to victims’ locations and to medical facilities. With only one hospital with emergency room services within city limits located on the south sides of the tracks, this disconnect could be life threatening when the trains sometimes stopped for breakdowns or track clearance—cutting the city in half.
HOW WE HELPED
Project work began with completing an Environmental Impact Statement and preliminary engineering. Significant public outreach, including a Community Advisory Committee and a Community Design Task Force, were key elements in developing aesthetic project enhancements.
Following FHWA's EIS approval, McCormick Taylor led Final Design activities:
- Right-of-way/property acquisition
- Hydraulic analysis
- Utility investigation and relocation
- Aesthetic design elements
Building bridges on both 10th Street (PA 72 one-way southbound) and 9th Street (PA 72 one-way northbound) to carry traffic over the Norfolk Southern rail lines improves safety in two key ways:
- It separates the grade of the road and railroad on 9th and 10th Street, eliminating the possibility of motorists, bicycles, or pedestrians being struck by a train.
- It eliminates the access restriction on emergency service providers caused by long trains—or even worse, by stopped trains.
Additionally, the structures reduce train noise because a whistle is no longer required at the 9th Street and 10th Street crossings. Air quality is also improved by reducing the queues of idling vehicles waiting for trains to clear.
Because the Community Design Task Force conceived the bridge design, the City of Lebanon accepted ownership of the bridges. These new bridges generated civic pride and improved public safety, economic development, and quality of life for citizens.
Honor Award – ACEC/PA 2014 Diamond Awards