PennDOT Transforms PA Corridor
Editor: Allison Braswell
PennDOT's $26-million makeover of the Margaret Road Interchange is underway in Kittanning, PA. The project will replace the existing four-way intersection with a T-intersection and erect two new structures consisting of a dual-span steel girder bridge and a concrete box culvert for a nearby tributary. Once this portion of the project is completed the new bridge will carry traffic from State Route 422 over to State Route 2005, which locals call "Margaret Road".
Between Kittanning and Indiana, PA, there are several attractions along SR 422 that users of this road hope they will be able to access more easily once these roadway changes are made; including Kittanning's Riverfront Park, a popular spot for festivals and concerts along the Allegheny River, to Indiana's Jimmy Stewart Museum, featuring memorabilia honoring the town's native Hollywood actor and WWII hero. PennDOT is optimistic that the project will realign the corridor that connects Kittanning to Indiana, PA, making it a safer and more efficient key road for motorists while simultaneously powering businesses in the region. Numerous stormwater management facilities and new wetland areas will also be constructed throughout the project limits.
Recently, Howard Concrete Pumping Company, Inc, a premier mine grouting contractor, performed the mine grouting, pile driving, and caisson installation on the project. International Construction Equipment, Inc had recommended an ICE® 44B Vibratory Driver/Extractor for driving 92" (in)-diameter caissons at a 60-foot depth to support one of the new structures. As expected, the ICE® 44B was efficient at penetrating the various types of clastic sedimentary rock on the site like siltstone (made up of silt-sized grains) and shale (mostly clay-sized particles). Because of their larger size, thermal controlled concrete caissons were utilized to minimize cracking and extend the life span of the structure. Thermal Integrity Profiling (TIP), which involves recording temperature changes during the curing time of the cement paste, was also employed. This Non-destructive testing helps reveal potential defects that might have happened during pile casting, providing real-time data on pile quality, which can shorten the construction timeline and assures a safe foundation.
Funded through the Surface Transportation Program (STP) which provides flexible funding for both States and localities for various roadway projects to preserve and improve conditions and performance, the expected completion date for the Margaret Road Interchange project is set for June 2025. Excellent work, Howard Concrete Pumping! Your hard work and dedication to safety while making roadway improvements that thousands of Western Pennsylvanians have eagerly anticipated is applauded.
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Pollyanna Cunningham, MA, MBA
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ICE® - International Construction Equipment, Inc
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