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Not So Elementary for Marcus Hook Students

January 22, 2019 12:00 AM
By: Brad Rudolph

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Dozens of Marcus Hook Elementary School first-and second-graders donned hard hats and safety vests for an educational tour of PennDOT's ongoing Route 452 (Market Street) bridge replacement project in Marcus Hook Borough and Lower Chichester Township, Delaware County.

Large group of elementary students wearing bright yellow construction vests and hard hats.

"I thought it was kind of cool to share what we do out here," said Scott Rinck, Road-Con Inc. project manager, who helped organize the school field trip. "I wish someone would have done this when I was a kid."

The students, joined by teachers and the school's principal, got an opportunity to walk across the newly-built section of the bridge to get a birds-eye view of the area and the Amtrak and SEPTA railroad tracks below. The children asked questions about how bridges are constructed, what abutments and piers are, and what kind of materials are used in construction. The visit coincided with what the students were learning in class, like distinguishing between shapes, and how to construct a paper bridge.

Rink says he was impressed with the students and their questions, including one from a curious second-grader who noticed that a crew was preparing to line stripe the travel lanes, so they could temporarily reopen the bridge before Christmas. He asked why PennDOT wasn't striping the pavement red and green for the holiday. The simple answer was safety.

Under this improvement project, PennDOT is replacing the 17-span reinforced concrete T-beam bridge with a new four-span, continuous prestressed box beam bridge. will be built on a new alignment and widened to meet current design standards. This project will be completed in late fall.

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