Pennoni Wins ACEC PA Diamond Award for Engineering Excellence for Vine Expressway (I-676) Bridge Reconstruction Project and US Route 15 Smart Traffic Signal System
Pennoni is pleased to announce its achievement of the American Council of Engineering Companies of Pennsylvania (ACEC/PA) Diamond Award for Engineering Excellence in the Structural Systems category for its Vine Expressway (I-676) Bridge Reconstruction Project for the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) District 6-0 and in the Small Projects category for its design and implementation of US Route 15 Smart Traffic Signal System.
The award recognizes engineering professionals that have strengthened the infrastructure, enhanced public safety, raised the profile of the engineering profession, and offered sustainable, economical solutions for clients and taxpayers.
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) District 6-0 retained Pennoni to lead the design team responsible for replacing the seven superstructures over I-676 from 22nd Street to 18th Street in Philadelphia, PA. The project site was in a culturally-sensitive urban area, which provided the opportunity to improve and enhance pedestrian and vehicular traffic safety, as well as introduce beautification elements, such as greenspace and statue preservation. Additional challenges included minimization of traffic disruptions during construction and continuous utility service during relocations.
The seven existing bridges consisted of five vehicular bridges and two pedestrian walkway bridges, all with substandard vertical clearance that required rectification during design. All the existing bridge superstructures, which were two-span, non-composite, prestressed concrete adjacent box beam, were replaced with single-span composite steel girder superstructures, while the existing center piers were removed, and the existing reinforced concrete abutments were retrofitted and reused.
"Pennoni is extremely proud of this win and thrilled that we were able to exceed PennDOT District 6-0 expectations on a project of this magnitude. Our collaboration with our seven design sub-consultants made this successful project possible," said Jim Pezzotti, PE, Associate Vice President, Project Manager/Senior Engineer at Pennoni.
Pennoni successfully completed the design under an accelerated schedule, creating a safe crossing and beautiful space for all to enjoy.
US Route 15 in Lewisburg Borough and East Buffalo Township, Union County, PA is a major arterial and a critical part of the region’s transportation system, which faced inconsistent and unpredictable traffic patterns that fluctuated substantially day-to-day. To improve traffic flow and safety, Pennoni used Adaptive Traffic Signal Control (ATSC) technology, which determines optimal signal timings based upon detected traffic volumes, autonomously adjusting signal timings in real-time, to design a system of three signalized intersections along this portion of US Route 15.
A “Before and After” adaptive implementation travel time study was performed for the project, which found that traffic flow during the weekday morning and evening peak hours of the day significantly improved after adaptive operations were implemented. For example, the average morning southbound travel time for the “Before” adaptive scenario was 133 ± 19 seconds, while the average travel time for the “After” adaptive scenario is 78 ± 6 seconds – a significant 41 percent reduction. The average number of stops also noticeably decreased for each peak hour period and travel direction. In all cases, once the adaptive operation was activated, the average number of stops experienced by motorists traversing the corridor were reduced by at least 50 percent of what they were in the “Before” scenario.
“In addition to properly addressing the challenging technical aspects associated with the implementation of adaptive signal technology, close collaboration between Pennoni, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), Lewisburg Borough, East Buffalo Township, SEDA-COG and Union County, was essential to successfully complete this project,” said Miguel de La Riva, PE, PTOE, Senior Traffic Engineer at Pennoni.
Through this successful system development and implementation, Pennoni was able to move traffic in the most efficient manner, accommodate special and unpredictable traffic demands, reduce the cost and time involved in traffic signal retiming, provide traffic surveillance, and more. The success of the project was made possible through the expertise of Pennoni’s traffic and roadway engineers.