In the heart of Amish country in Smicksburg, Indiana County, a bridge upgrade project turned into a complete superstructure replacement. The continuous three-span steel bridge over Little Mahoning Creek was built in 1960 and was in poor condition.
Close consultation between construction field staff and the District 10 bridge unit, along with partnering with the contractor (Mekis Construction), PennDOT's Central Office, a design consultant (KCI), and the fabricator (High Steel Structures), allowed for a successful pivot on a short timeline to a complete superstructure replacement.
During the accelerated design and beam fabrication period, Mekis Construction was able to complete preliminary work and negotiate costs and time impacts while our design unit worked on finding the necessary funding. The delays still pushed work deep into the winter months. As labor became available from other projects that were shut down for the winter, Mekis was able to bring on additional staff and accelerate the schedule for deck pours into early December 2020. Cold weather curing methods protected the deck from air temperatures as low as 25 degrees.
In mid-January, the structure was temporarily reopened to reduce the impact to Amish community members living on the far side of the bridge who were traveling from the town and their schools. In the spring of 2021, Mekis returned to complete the final items of work and reopen the structure.