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American Parkway Lehigh River Bridge Receives Outstanding Recognition

American Parkway Lehigh River Bridge in Allentown, Pa. - Gannett Fleming, Inc.
Complete with Art Deco designs, the American Parkway Lehigh River Bridge connects Allentown, Pa. to Route 22.

(Harrisburg, Pa.)

The Association for Bridge Construction and Design (ABCD), Susquehanna Chapter, has named the American Parkway Lehigh River Bridge, in Allentown, Pennsylvania, the 2015-2016 Outstanding New Medium Span Bridge. 

Gannett Fleming was the engineer of record on the selected design-build team, with partner New Enterprise Stone & Lime Co. (NESL) as prime contractor. Gannett Fleming worked in collaboration with NESL to design the one-mile connection between the two segments, which included a 705-foot-long, five-span bridge over Norfolk Southern Railroad and the Lehigh River, and a three-span mainline bridge. The design was divided into multiple design packages to streamline and fast-track the schedule for construction operations.

An environmental requirement of the project stated that no runoff was permitted to run directly into the Lehigh River. A drainage system was developed to capture all water from the Lehigh River Bridge and deposit it into the newly constructed stormwater basins within the narrow footprint of this critical roadway link.

“The residents of Allentown have waited nearly 60 years for a direct connection from their downtown to the airport and other important community assets,” said Scott Rhine, PE, DBIA, vice president and design-build leader for Gannett Fleming. “Our team is proud to be part of the future development of this growing city.”

Nestled in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley, a short drive from Philadelphia and New York City, the Allentown community has been waiting for a crucial transportation connection through Center City. Work on the American Parkway began in the 80’s, and the final segment is nearing completion. Through coordination and communication necessary for a successful design-build project, the project team completed the construction in November 2015. 

ABCD is an organization devoted to improving and encouraging the science of bridge design and construction by providing a forum for members to exchange and develop new ideas and techniques. Nominated projects for the outstanding project awards are judged on technical merit, aesthetics and context sensitive solutions, innovation and constructability. The awards recognize the most deserving projects within the local bridge industry.

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