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Gay Street Bridge, SR 113, Section 08B

Location: Chester County, Pennsylvania Client: Pennsylvania Department of Transportation

JMT provided a full range of services to replace a landmark bridge with a new structure that met the community's expectations within a historic district. 

The Gay Street Bridge, a massive 12-span concrete spandrel arch constructed in 1924, required replacement due to deterioration.  Although the bridge was not individually eligible for the National Register of Historic Places, it was considered as a contributing element to the Phoenixville Historic District.  JMT provided design, survey, environmental, and public outreach services to replace the landmark with an aesthetically pleasing, 972'-6" long, nine-span steel arch structure that met the functional and cultural needs of the site while enhancing public safety and accessibility.

JMT led an extensive public involvement program to provide a bridge that the local community would embrace, that allowed for future site development, and that provided an increased load carrying capacity. JMT made a concerted effort to preserve and document the history of the site (the former Phoenix Iron Works) and incorporated numerous context sensitive design solutions to complement the historic setting, including the type of replacement structure as well as the color of the steel, the light poles, the sidewalk treatments and the architectural treatments.  Other features included designated areas on the bridge to provide overlook vistas of the historic property beneath and around the new bridge with markers to convey the historical significance, and walking and biking trails under the bridge along French Creek.

The project was completed and opened to traffic approximately three months ahead of schedule. JMT was recognized for our ability to work collaboratively with the community, the various regulatory agencies, and the contractor and the client.  This new structure allows for safe and adequate pedestrian, vehicular and emergency services movement between the downtown area of Phoenixville and the north side of the community, while retaining the historic significance of the site.

This project received several awards:

  • Outstanding New Multi-Span Bridge, from Association for Bridge Construction and Design (ABCD)
  • Outstanding CSS Bridge Design, from Association for Bridge Construction and Design (ABCD)
  • Project of the Year for projects with a total construction cost greater than $10 Million, from American Society of Highway Engineers (ASHE) Delaware Valley Region
  • Honorable Mention in Excellence in Highway Design Awards for Structures Costing $10 Million or more, from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)
  • Merit Award for Medium Span Structures, from the National Steel Bridge Alliance
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