HISTORIC READING (PA) BRIDGE REHABILITATION CITED IN NATIONAL ENGINEERING COMPETITION

Gannett Fleming, of Audubon, Pa., has earned a National Recognition Award for exemplary engineering achievement in the American Council of Engineering Companies’ (ACEC) 54th annual Engineering Excellence Awards (EEA) for Penn Street Historic Bridge Renovation in Reading, PA.

Originally constructed in 1913, the 14-span historic bridge crosses a railroad, city street, college campus, trail, utility access road, and the Schuylkill River. To preserve what has become a vital link for the region’s economic vitality during the 36-month rehabilitation process, the project team developed a comprehensive traffic control plan to preserve mobility throughout construction.

With a full interchange on one side and an urban signalized intersection on the other, the detailed plan accommodated a primary/secondary ramp detour and a temporarily relocated ramp. The strategy maintained three traffic lanes during six construction stages, as well as pedestrian traffic above and below the bridge. Despite many constraints, the team provided a clear roadmap to complete the project in accordance with all stakeholder requirements while preserving the bridge’s historic character.

Gannett Fleming provides engineering services for building, transportation, and water projects.

The project is eligible for additional honors as part of 173 entries this year representing engineering excellence from throughout the nation and the world. Judging for the awards program—known industry-wide as the “Academy Awards of the engineering industry”– took place in February and was conducted by a national 20-member panel of built-environment leaders, along with experts from government, media, and academia. Award criteria focused on uniqueness and originality, technical innovation, social and economic value, and generating excitement for the engineering profession.

Recognition of all award winners including top winners—20 Honor Awards, 16 Grand Awards, and the prestigious “Grand Conceptor Award” for the year’s most outstanding overall engineering achievement—will take place during the 2021 Virtual EEA Gala, to be held Thursday, June 17, 2021.

The American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) is the business association of America’s engineering industry, representing more than 5,200 independent engineering firms and more than 600,000 professionals throughout the United States engaged in the development of America’s transportation, water, and energy infrastructure, along with environmental, industrial and other public and private facilities. Founded in 1906 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., ACEC is a national federation of 52 state and regional organizations.