I S S U E No. 6
Founded in 1960, Urban Engineers is a privately-owned (ESOP), ISO 9001:2008-registered, multidisciplinary design, construction management, construction inspection, planning, and environmental consulting firm. urbanengineers.com
I S S U E No. 6
clients pg. 11
Revolutionary change is underway for the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority.
Delaware DOT celebrates the completion of Carter Road.
Hear Us Roar, State College
Joseph P. McAtee, PE, Executive Vice President, COO
Bernard Carolan, CFO Welcome Back, Carter!
Urban opens a new office in State College, PA.
The first LEED ND Platinum development in America.
Faces of Formulating Excellence®
pg. 23 ®
Faces of Formulating Excellence
Flared Beams and Ferris Wheels
Andrew Ludewig Cody Lowry Christopher Gubeno, PE Andrew Quinn, PE Dave D’Alba Joseph McAtee, PE Cody Lowry Matthew Ward, PE Luke Cloran Roy Denmark Kaytalin Platt
Special Thanks Philadelphia Regional Port Authority Philadelphia Curling Club Pennsylvania State University
New bridge design enhances Denver Community Fair.
Projects in the News
Urban Video Productions
Andrew Cushman Bruce Wagner Cody Lowry Dave D’Alba
Director Andrew Cushman In this photo: The Delaware River and Battleship New Jersey
Executive Perspective JOSEPH P. MCATEE, PE EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, COO What a beginning for the New Year! This winter’s inclement weather has proven to be a major challenge for just about every one of Urban’s 13 offices. But in emerging from such a cold winter, there is a higher level of optimism as we eagerly prepare for springtime. This optimism is for not only warmer weather, but also a much warmer work environment. This year, we will see some sizeable increases in the infrastructure budgets, with new funding streams in Pennsylvania and Maryland leading the way. I believe more will follow in the coming year. We will also finally see the emergence of the major Capital Enhancement Program for Philadelphia International Airport, for which we recently won the first major project to extend Runway 27L. Also poised for success will be our facilities engineering teams, and our new State College, PA office, which presents great opportunities to support the Pennsylvania State University Master Plan, a new and sizeable target for our services. Beyond the facilities market, all of our business lines will benefit from programs with continuing potential for new work. Indeed, it’s going to be a good year. Time marches on, and as we recognize that, we have started to set the stage for future generations. Principal owner Ed D’Alba and I recently announced that we will be transitioning leadership in the months ahead. This follows the completion of the sale of our stock and that of the associates to the Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) on December 30, 2013. We are now 100% ESOP-owned. Ownership changes are under discussion for our affiliate, Urban Engineers of New York, P.C. This is all very good news and will solidify our plans to achieve an internal ownership transition while remaining fully competitive in the growing marketplace. Entering the springtime, Ed and I are full of optimism for where the firm is going and we hope you all feel the same. We appreciate each and every one of Urban’s employees for making us a firm that can confidently say we are ‘Formulating Excellence’ for our clients. In doing so, we are continuing to build a reputation of professionalism that is really second to none. We also extend a hearty thanks and congratulations to our peers in the transportation industry in Maryland and Pennsylvania for working with elected officials to make additional funding possible; and of course, to our elected officials for passing the funding programs that will make transportation safer and more efficient for generations to come.
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Hear us Roar, STATE COLLEGE!
* this image does not imply affiliation with Pennsylvania State University
New office 330 Innovation Boulevard, Suite 103 State College, PA 16803 814.308.9532 x2166
Urban has opened a new office in
and service clients, as well as attract
transit facilities, and building structures,
State College, PA, in Innovation Park, a
the best talent from the region.”
is based in the new office. She will
business campus that provides tenants
be involved with client development,
with access to The Pennsylvania State
The new location in State College
strategic teaming, technical oversight,
University’s (PSU) scientific, engineering,
combines with Urban’s Mechanicsburg
and staff growth. A graduate of PSU
technology, and business resources.
office to create a robust presence
and local resident, she is familiar
It features easy access to I-99 and US
in central Pennsylvania. Gregory
with clients such as the Pennsylvania
220/322, while also being close to the
J. Lebo, PE, will oversee strategic
Department of Transportation,
PSU University Park Campus.
business operations for both offices,
Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission,
which can offer clients a diverse
“This office is a vital part of Urban’s
array of services related to public
continued growth in central
transportation, facilities, highway and
Pennsylvania,” said Matthew C.
bridge transportation, and construction
Marquardt, PE, Senior Vice President
projects. Senior Project Manager
and General Manager of Design. “With
Diane Purdy, PE, who has 25 years of
its scenic grounds and top facilities,
experience in management and design
Innovation Park is a great place to host
of transportation projects, bridges,
For more information, contact: Gregory Lebo, PE, Vice President firstname.lastname@example.org
people / 2
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In January, Bernard M. Carolan, CPA, was promoted to chief financial officer. A vice president and member of Urban’s Executive Committee, he has served the firm as controller for nearly 13 years. We were foRtunate to sit down with this native of Dublin, Ireland, and get his thoughts on the new role as well as life in America.
What has been Your biggest challenge at Urban? BC: Difficult economic and business conditions impact Urban directly. Making good long-term decisions for Urban that have difficult short-term consequences is challenging but necessary to protect our future.
Why Urban? BC: I’m challenged every day in many different ways. As our clients evolve, our processes and our sharing of knowledge
and family is more challenging, although when you’re Irish you are never alone. It seems like I’ve met more Irish people (or people with Irish parents, grandparents, etc.) in Philadelphia than I knew in Dublin.
What Irish food do you miss the most? BC: Black pudding. It’s a blood pudding made from pig’s blood, oatmeal, and onions. Sounds terrible, tastes great. Honest.
questions that have to be resolved. The
We know you love reading. What’s your favorite book? BC: A History of the World in 10 Chapters
around a long time and remains a critical
financial reporting of this activity has to
by Julian Barnes. His ability to connect
part of the world we live in. Accountants
be incorporated into existing systems and
seemingly unconnected narratives and
must be communicators, interpreting and
presented accurately for management to
make a coherent whole made me think,
presenting information about the company
evaluate. All of this requires a large degree
particularly about our perception of history
and its finances. This communication allows
of interaction with our clients, our project
and how it defines our view of ourselves
the users of the information (management,
managers, and business managers. This
and the world. It also made me laugh out
financial institutions, investors) to make
is what drives everything forward, working
loud, which always helps.
informed decisions that help companies
with people to give meaning to the financial
become more successful. Part of the
information we produce.
What’s your Professional approach? BC: The accounting profession has been
also evolves. Our growth in different areas as we work with new clients raises new
profession’s responsibility is to measure and report economic events clearly in a way that is both ethical and rational.
What are your future goals for Urban? BC: I’m committed to making Urban the
If you were an engineer, which type would you be? BC: Great question, no idea. One of the benefits of working for Urban but not
When you have free time on the weekends... BC: I play football (soccer) most weekends with a bunch of other guys in a league, all of us trying vainly to relive our youth.
best possible company for our employees.
kids are under the impression that Urban
What’s your favorite football (soccer) team? Why? BC: Liverpool Football Club. A lot of Irish
My role in this process is to continue
has designed or been involved in the
people emigrated to Liverpool over the
focusing on growing and sustaining our
construction of all the major projects in the
years. My grandmother is from there and
profitability. This will give the company the
country (which becomes a more accurate
I still have family there. It also helped that
financial strength to innovate and grow in
assessment every day).
they had a great team when I was growing
being directly involved in projects, is that I claim involvement in everything we do. My
the future as new markets and opportunities emerge, potentially overtaking our traditional markets and clients. Achieving financial strength and independence puts our future in our hands, and benefits everyone who works here directly. This doesn’t happen overnight, rather in a series of incremental steps that are already in motion.
up. I’ve supported them since I was young.
What’s different about living in the United States? BC: There’s a steep learning curve when you first get here - not everything was like
What is something that most people do not know about you? BC: I do have an Irish accent that
the television shows we got at home. The
occasionally makes an appearance.
language is different, the food is different (better but different), and the pace is different. Replacing your network of friends
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PLATINUM paseo verde Paseo Verde is a mixed-use residential development in North Philadelphia consisting of 120 rental units comprised of one, two, and three bedroom apartments with community amenities and almost 30,000 square feet of ground-floor retail. It is the newest and largest non-university, mixed-use residential development project around Temple. Asociación Puertorriqueños en Marcha, or APM, a Latino community development organization, envisioned the project as a way to provide affordable, community-based housing with access to mass transit, while showcasing sustainable practices in design.
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projects projects/ /26 6
Urban’s site/civil engineering design and stormwater management strategies aided in reaching the Platinum LEED® ND goals.
Developed by Jonathan Rose Companies
envelope, individually controlled gas-fired
and designed by architectural firm
heating and cooling units in each apartment,
Wallace Roberts & Todd (WRT), this was
a 40 kW photovoltaic array on the roof, and
the first project nationwide to receive
the LEED® Platinum in the category of LEED® for Neighborhood Design (LEED®
Urban provided the site/civil engineering
ND). The Transit Oriented Development,
design and developed the stormwater
located at 9th and Berks Streets in North
management strategies in coordination
Philadelphia immediately adjacent to the
with WRT to meet City of Philadelphia
Temple University regional rail station,
requirements and provide green stormwater
takes advantage of its location by
infrastructure to aid in reaching the Platinum
utilizing the rail connection to Center City
LEED® ND goals.
Philadelphia, Temple, and the surrounding neighborhoods.
Reducing overall runoff into the combined sewer outfall and reducing the impact to the public health and safety release rate due to existing sewer capacities in the area.
Providing stormwater infiltration back into the groundwater systems.
In the neighborhood around the project site, many homes have backups of their sewage
The $31.3 million project consists of a row
systems due to the combined sewers in the
of townhouses and four apartment and
streets being overtaxed during large storms.
condominium blocks with colorful exteriors
This creates not only a health hazard, but
and a parking garage at grade. The
also comes with property damage. Reducing
design incorporated several strategies to
the amount of drainage into the combined
meet the Platinum LEED® ND certification
sewers was a significant issue that required
that included a well-insulated building
implementing multiple design strategies in
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stormwater strategies used during design
Reducing impervious areas by 20% on the site through the use of green roofs, landscaping, and tree wells.
and under the building, as well as along the streets and sidewalks.
More than 30,000 square feet of blue roofs slow stormwater runoff.
Multiple green roofs and blue roofs were incorporated into the design. Green roofs consist of soil or planting medium and various grasses, plants, and planters. The rain falling on the green roof is absorbed by the soils and growing medium to be absorbed by the plantings. Additional rainwater is also stored in the growing medium or soils with overflow being drained into rainwater collectors. Blue roofs are designed to collect ponding rainwater and slowly release it into the rain water collector pipes. An additional aspect of the blue roof was the photovoltaic cells that were installed on brackets to allow rainwater storage below. The blue and green roofs combine to slowly release the runoff through specially designed roof drains. The rainwater collector pipes that collect rainfall
what is a blue roof?
convey the runoff into underground infiltration basins below the foundation of the buildings. The infiltration of the excess runoff into the subsurface soils will recharge the soils and groundwater systems while also removing the
Blue roofs are designed to collect and pond rainwater and slowly release it into the rain water collector pipes.
runoff from sewer systems that are already over capacity. At street level, pervious pavers and tree wells are utilized to permit rainfall to enter the subsurface soils or be directed to the trees and landscaping around the site. The sustainable stormwater strategies also aid in reducing the annual operating costs of the facility by decreasing the
is a testament to the fact that sustainable design can come at a lower cost and be achieved through a systematic and targeted approach to all aspects of sustainability.
City’s stormwater management fees by more than $6,000. The use of infiltration, green and blue roofs, pervious pavers, and street trees and tree wells all helped the
For more information, contact:
project receive sustainable design credits in the LEED®
Daniel Humes, PE 215.922.8080 email@example.com
ND ratings. Reaching the LEED® ND Platinum certification
Residents can take advantage of the adjacent Temple University station for rail connections to Center City Philadelphia, surrounding neighborhoods, and the region.
projects projects // 8 8
FACE S OF F o r m u l at i n g exc el l en c e®
SUSAN DONDERo-DORES PROJECT MANAGER Susan Dondero-Dores, PE, was once the
background to transform the PTA. She
only woman engineer working in Urban’s
would see her former colleagues at Urban’s
Highway Division. Undeterred, she quickly
holiday parties and occasionally, she would
rose through the ranks. Susan’s husband,
be asked to help on a project. “I never
Gus, who worked in Urban’s Airport
felt that Urban was very far away, but I
Division, recalls, “Susan’s desire to succeed
wondered how far I would have made it if I
was incredible. She took every opportunity
had stayed.” Then one day, Susan took the
to improve herself, often going to meetings
road less traveled. An opportunity arose,
with department leaders just to learn from
and she picked up the phone and asked to
them.” Yet, just as her career was about
return to Urban. “I was treated as if I had
to really take off, she decided to make a
career change - becoming a full-time mom. Susan thought that her children, two and
Today, Susan continues to be a dynamic
four years old at the time, needed her full
leader of the firm. She is a mentor to the
attention. “It was a difficult decision,” she
many women in the Highway Division and
says. “Those years that Gus and I spent
a go-to person with design questions. She
trying to juggle work and family were years
works with some of the same people she
well spent, but that was time we will never
did before she left - a few of whom have
get back with our children.”
surpassed her on the corporate ladder, but that doesn’t bother her because, “Urban
The next 10 years would fly by quickly as
allowed me the flexibility to achieve both
she became involved with her childrens’
- a successful, well-balanced career, and
school activities. She became a certified
being the parent I always wanted to be.”
substitute teacher, took care of her kids’ friends, and used her engineering
To see more Faces of Formulating Excellence, click here.
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URBAN ALLOWED ME THE FLEXIBILITY to achieve both - a successful, well-balanced career, and being the parent I aways wanted to be.
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R E V OL U TI ON A RY C H A NG E is UND E R WAY. . .
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evolutionary change is underway for the Port of Philadelphia with a deeper river channel, new and upgraded facilities, and additional services. Making this
happen is the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority (PRPA), a dynamic economic engine and job creator for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. As the PRPA strives to meet the increasing demand around the globe for new and improved facilities and capabilities, Urban continues to help the organization modernize its facilities by providing a diverse array of services and knowledge of the Delaware River port infrastructure that is second to none.
Gateway to the East Established in 1990, the PRPA is the agency responsible for managing the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s marine terminals on the Delaware River. Between 1965 and 1990, the facilities were managed by the Philadelphia Port Corporation (PPC), a non-profit, quasipublic organization that had the authority to issue bonds to raise funds for port improvement and expansion. Major port improvements by the PPC in the 1960s and 1970s included constructing the 106-acre Packer Avenue Marine Terminal and the Tioga Marine Terminal in 1970. Eventually, the need to continuously maintain and improve the marine terminals became too costly for the City, which then turned to the Commonwealth for help. As a result, the PRPA was formed as an independent state agency to replace the PPC. The Commonwealth purchased all publicly owned port facilities from the City and assigned PRPA to manage them. The Port of Philadelphia is strategically located at the center of the Northeast Corridor, the country’s largest and richest marketplace. It has direct access to more major cities by rail and truck than any other U.S. port, ensuring timely and cost-effective deliveries. In fact, more than half of U.S. heavy industry is within secondday delivery of PRPA’s facilities. More than 3,000 ships load and offload at the port each year - making it one of the busiest in the North Atlantic and the fourth largest in the country for handling imported goods. PRPA’s facilities are highly diversified and handle containers, break-bulk, project cargo, and liquid bulk. The port includes specialized facilities for forest products, perishable cargo, and automobiles.
clients / 12
deepen Lower Reach A, an approximately one-mile section of
A proposal to deepen the Delaware River navigation channel
the channel near Essington, PA was awarded in January 2014
from 40 to 45 feet from approximately the Benjamin Franklin
with work expected to begin this summer. Subsequent contracts
Bridge to the mouth of the Delaware Bay has been studied by the
are scheduled to be advertised for the deepening of Reach AA
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) since 1984. The project
(Philadelphia Harbor) and Lower Reach E (Lower Delaware Bay)
was authorized for construction in 1992, but due to challenges
in 2014. The deeper channel will provide for more efficient
regarding economics and environmental impacts, numerous
transportation of containerized, dry bulk (steel and slag), and
supplemental environmental studies, revised economic studies,
liquid bulk (crude oil and petroleum products) cargo to and
and challenges over state permit requirements, the project did
from the Delaware River ports. It will also reduce the need for
not move forward.
the “lightering” of larger ships at the mouth of the Delaware Bay (transferring some cargo to barges or other ships), which is
Recognizing the need for deepening the Delaware River to
currently required to allow them to traverse the 40-foot channel.
45 feet, then Governor Ed Rendell developed an agreement
This operation is costly and inefficient and puts the Delaware
between Pennsylvania and New Jersey in which the PRPA became
River port facilities at a competitive disadvantage. Once the
the new non-federal sponsor for the deepening project. On June
project is completed (target date is 2017), it will be able to
23, 2008, the PRPA signed the Project Partnership Agreement
take advantage of the benefits of the Panama Canal expansion
with the Department of the Army. Since then, PRPA and the
currently scheduled for 2015.
Commonwealth have actively supported the Corps through numerous legal challenges filed in the federal district courts in
Building from the Ground Up
Delaware and New Jersey and an appeal to the Third Circuit
To take full advantage of the deepened Delaware River and
Court of Appeals. The federal government prevailed in all of
outstanding rail and highway connections, the PRPA is in
these challenges, thus allowing the project to move forward.
the process of developing the proposed 150-acre Southport
“Of all the great work the Port of Philadelphia does to remain
Marine Terminal on a portion of The Navy Yard adjacent to
competitive, nothing is more important than our channel-
the Packer Avenue Marine Terminal in South Philadelphia. Two
deepening project,” said PRPA Chairman of the Board
Class I railroads, CSX and Norfolk Southern, service the site,
Charles G. Kopp, Esq. “While it is very important to build new
which is adjacent to the Norfolk Southern Intermodal Container
warehouses, modernize our facilities, buy new cranes, and
Terminal and the CSX Greenwich Intermodal Yard. Major
maintain our expert labor force, what good is all that if the ships
highways nearby include I-95, I-76, I-676, I-476, and the
can’t get up the river to reach us? Thanks to Governor Tom
Pennsylvania and New Jersey Turnpikes. PRPA has developed
Corbett and his administration, we’re not going to have that
a preliminary design and obtained state and federal approvals
for construction. Mitigation for Southport project impacts has begun at the former Jack’s Marina site on the Neshaminy Creek
Due to a shortage of federal funds designated for the project,
in Croydon, PA. When completed, the Jack’s Marina mitigation
PRPA made a critical decision by agreeing to accelerate its non-
site will include 11.52 acres of intertidal wetland and intertidal
federal funding for the project to begin construction in March
mudflat re-establishment (removing fill from former wetlands),
2010 with the dredging of Reach C, a 12-mile stretch of the river
enchancing 13.65 acres of existing wetlands by the removing
downstream from the Delaware Memorial Bridge. This initial
a high spot containing Phragmites and debris, planting 3.25
contract, which removed 3.6 million cubic yards of material,
acres of submerged aquatic vegetation, creating 0.45 acres of
was completed in September 2010. Subsequent contracts
redbelly turtle habitat, and planting 4.25 acres of upland buffer.
have dredged an additional 29 miles of channel, removing
The PRPA is also proposing to install underwater reef structures
approximately 3.6 million cubic yards of material.
along the south facing shoreline of the Southport site as an
“Pennsylvania’s Governor Tom Corbett has been a strong
added enhancement measure for fish species. In addition, the
supporter of the project since its inception. Help from the federal
PRPA is constructing a new access road to the Southport Marine
government has come from a number of people, especially
Terminal. Upon completion, it will be the first major marine
Pennsylvania Senator Robert P. Casey and Representative Robert
terminal built from the ground up at the Port of Philadelphia
A. Brady, and Delaware Senators Christopher A. Coons and
in more than 40 years. This facility would greatly increase the
Thomas R. Carper,” Kopp said. To date, approximately 60 %
port’s capacity for containerized cargo, which is anticipated to
of the areas that require deepening (portions of the project are
increase as a result of the expansion of the Panama Canal and
already at or below 45 feet) have been addressed. A contract to
the deepening of the Delaware River.
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The deepening of the Delaware will spur almost $1 billion in investments in new port infrastructure projects along the Delaware River…and protect and create thousands upon thousands of blue collar, family sustaining jobs. Dennis Rochford President, Maritime Exchange for the Delaware River and Bay
clients / 14
Urban will design improvements to the on-site rail system, the dock area between the pier and the existing warehouse, and numerous upgrades to the 306,000-square-foot warehouse.
“Southport is a great example of the kind
230 stevedore (dockworker) and terminal
resurfacing the dock area between the pier
of public/private partnership that has made
jobs and a total of 380 jobs, including rail
and the existing warehouse, and numerous
great things happen in this port on so many
workers and truckers. The terminal will be
upgrades to the 306,000-square-foot
occasions,” said PRPA Executive Director
operated by Delaware River Stevedores
James T. McDermott, Jr. “Recognizing
who will invest in equipment, information
Southport’s value to our regional economy,
technology, and provide training for their
“With all that remains to transform the
the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is
workers. Fibria would initially bring in 12 to
terminal into a world class home for
providing key support to get this truly
18 ships a year with 300,000 to 350,000
Fibria, the Delaware River Stevedores takes
exciting project off the ground, but equally
metric tons of wood pulp for distribution
comfort in knowing that the PRPA retained
important is the substantial private industry
to paper plants in Pennsylvania. The pulp
Urban Engineers to work on the project,”
investment that will be a central component
will be used to make tissue paper. It will
Robert Palaima, President of the Delaware
to Southport’s construction and operation.”
be distributed by truck and rail in a joint
River Stevedores, said. “We find folks at
venture by Conrail, Norfolk Southern, and
Urban to be quick studies on the specific
Major Corporation, Fibria, Arrives At The Port
needs of our industry. They listen, and they
The most recent good news for the PRPA
Urban assisted the PRPA is coordination
with all the alacrity required to have our
and the Ports of Philadelphia was the
with the Corps and the U.S. Coast Guard
facility ready for the first ship arrival this
announcement of a deal between the
regarding the safe transit of the ships
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and Fibria
transporting the pulp. Urban is currently
Cellulose S.A., the world’s largest producer
under contract to the PRPA to design
of bleached eucalyptus wood pulp to
For more information, contact:
site improvements at Tioga to prepare
relocate its northeastern U.S, distribution
the facility for receiving the first delivery
center to PRPA’s Tioga Marine Terminal.
of pulp in early July. Improvements
Roy Denmark, Vice President 215.922.8080 firstname.lastname@example.org
The relocation will create approximately
include modifying the on-site rail system,
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turn out ideas, solutions, and work product
360,000 455 52
T O NS IN A NNUA L V OLUM E weeks per year of activity for local w orkers
D I R E CT A ND IND IR E CT JO BS
20 y e a r r e l at io ns hip e nv is io ne d
t he a ppr ox imate n um ber of large v e s s e l s pe r y ear
Fibriaâ€™s Operations at the Port
by t h e n umbers
million in taxes generated for the U.S. government
The Fibria project represents a transformative piece of business, in that it is at the vanguard of revitalizing not only Tioga Marine Terminal, but also the entire Port Richmond industrial corridor. Robert Palaima President, Delaware River Stevedores
DAYS PER WEEK OF ACTIVITY FOR LOCAL W ORKERS
mil l io n in ta x e s gen erated for th e state
clients / 16
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Bridge engineer Andrew Van Schooneveld, PE, rocks the house at the Philadelphia Curling Club.
people / 18
FLARED BEAMS &
FERRIS WHEELS New Bridge Design Enhances Denver Community Fair
very year, 80,000 visitors converge on Denver Borough in Lancaster County, PA for the Denver Community Fair. The five-day fair has continued to grow since it began in 1982, and has become a permanent fixture with the Denver community and region. The event is an opportunity for hundreds
of volunteers to come together for one week to exhibit and showcase the communityâ€™s talent. Located adjacent to Denver Memorial Park and Playground, where the fair is held, was an old worn stone bridge crossing Cocalico Creek (Steinmetz Road/Main Street - SR 1026). The bridge was deemed structurally deficient and detracted from the areaâ€™s look and feel. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, Engineering District 8-0, (PennDOT) wanted to replace the bridge and consulted with Urban to develop a bridge design that not only carried the public safely to and from Denver Borough, but also blended aesthetically with the surroundings. While this bridge replacement seemed simple, Urban learned quickly that variables ranging from the geometry of the roadway and structure to concerns regarding the impact of construction on the safety and success of the Denver Fair would make the project significantly more complex. The project was ultimately successful because the team listened to the needs of Denver Borough and local stakeholders, and in the process, set the standard for the way the Borough works with entities like PennDOT on other bridge improvement projects.
projects / 20
CHALLENGE 1 DESIGNING WITH FLARE Urban, which oversaw all activities associated with preliminary
The proposed roadway alignment and vertical profile had to be
and final design of the two-span, pre-stressed (P/S) concrete
established as close as possible to
I-beam bridge, recognized in the early stages that the existing
roadway alignment did not meet current roadway design criteria for the allowed design speed. A 35-degree turn on one end of the existing crossing and a substandard roadway width on the bridge
forced the traveling public to take extra care when approaching
At the location of the 35-degree turn,
the existing bridge from both directions. The existing bridge was
the solution was to insert a curving
a two-span, steel, multi-girder structure with a total length of 106
roadway alignment meeting the
feet. Its foundations were oriented at a 45-degree angle to allow
assigned design speed requirements,
the flow of Cocalico Creek to pass under the bridge. Knowing
while maintaining the existing
these conditions, Urban combined a new roadway alignment
alignments approaching the bridge.
(meeting the allowed design speed requirements) with a new bridge structure supported on new foundations found at the same location as the existing structure. For this design to be successful, the following challenges were addressed:
CHALLENGE 2 The proposed bridge also had to support a curving roadway alignment
without violating PennDOT’s overhang deck length criteria. In this case, the maximum outside overhang dimension could not exceed the depth of the proposed beam.
SOLUTION Knowing that the curved alignment rested partially on the proposed bridge, a cost analysis was completed comparing P/S concrete beams and curving steel plate girders. It was determined that the P/S beam option was the most cost-effective. To meet PennDOT’s overhang criteria, the solution was to flare the placement of the beams in the span
where the curving alignment was established. As a result, these beams are of different length and set at different angles to each other. This caused the bridge deck to vary in width along the span where the curving alignment exists. In addition, the roadway’s superelevation was always in transition. As one travels across the bridge, one can feel the roadway cross slope increase into the turn. On the construction plans, PennDOT requires bridge deck elevations along regular intervals to each of the beams and at 10-foot intervals along the length of the bridge. Variables of the curving alignment, varying bridge width, beams set at different angles from each other, and superelevation transitioning had to be taken into account to ensure that everything fit into place.
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A MODEL FOR COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT
Borough requested that PennDOT schedule construction to start after
This particular bridge peaked the public’s interest given its proximity
the conclusion of the 2011 Denver Fair and be completed prior
to Denver Memorial Park and Playground, the site of the annual
to the start of the 2012 Denver Fair. PennDOT complied and the
fair, visibility to local homeowners, and being a primary gateway
project was completed without any impact to the event. The Borough
to Denver Borough. Community officials were engaged early in the
also worked with PennDOT to provide a temporary construction
design process and thereby able to play a role in improving their
easement in Denver Memorial Park. The location of the temporary
quality of life. “By maintaining open lines of communication during
easement eliminated access from the park’s main entranceway to
the design and construction phases, the trust and understanding
the existing park trail. In return for the easement, PennDOT required
between all parties resulted in a positive experience for all those
that the contractor install an accessible temporary trail connection
involved,” Mike Hession, the Manager of Denver Borough, said.
so that members of the community could continue to use this facility during construction. This temporary connection also served
While reviewing the proposed new bridge details, members of
as a prime viewing area for the community to safely watch bridge
Borough Council had expressed their desire that the new bridge
retain some of the features that made the old bridge unique. For one, the design team suggested using architectural surface treatment
Finally, access to several driveways adjacent to the bridge needed
to resemble the existing bridge’s stone foundations. Borough officials
to be maintained during construction, including one to the Denver
were provided with details and color swatches and ultimately
Memorial Park and Playground. Urban’s construction management
helped determine the bridge’s final appearance. Additionally, for
and inspection insight proved valuable in overcoming these
approximately 150 feet of the western approach to the bridge, there
construction challenges. “The process incorporated the cooperation
was insufficient space to grade the embankment down to Cocalico
that municipal officials and community members often seek from
Creek. Urban utilized a barrier moment slab with toe wall structure
state agencies such as PennDOT on infrastructure projects in our
from PennDOT’s Bridge Standard Design Drawings. This standard
communities,” Hession said. “This process has served as a baseline
structure uses a 42-inch-high, jersey-shaped concrete barrier, which
for how we have been working with PennDOT on improvement
would have created an unsightly ‘wall effect’ blocking the view of
projects on other bridges located in the Borough.”
both Cocalico Creek and Denver Memorial Park and Playground from the traveling public. Urban suggested using PennDOT’s PA Type 10M Barrier, in turn modifying this standard structure. This barrier with a metal handrail creates a more open view without sacrificing the public’s safety.
For more information, contact: Matthew Ward, PE, Senior Project Manager 215.922.8080 email@example.com
The Borough shared with PennDOT concerns regarding the impact of construction on the safety and success of the Denver Fair. The projects / 22
Good co m m u n i c ati o n i s good en gi n eer i n g.
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FACE S O F F o r m u l at i n g exc el l en c e®
PETER BRENNAN PROJECT ENGINEER, PORTS & WATERWAYS
As the son of an American diplomat, Peter Brennan, PE, LEED® AP, spent his youth traveling throughout East Africa. He lived in Ethiopa, Uganda, and Zambia, and visited several more countries between the ages of 8 and 17. “It was a complicated experience growing up abroad - one that I wouldn’t trade for anything,” he said. “Moving from place to place in a diplomatic household, you become sensitive to different viewpoints. I had to learn how to reach common ground with someone quickly in order to make new friends, a skill that I continue to draw upon today.” In 2008, just seven months after joining Urban’s Ports & Waterways Division, Peter was the resident engineer for a large-scale dock rehabilitation project for Sunoco Logistics. “There was a steep learning curve related to staying on top of all aspects of construction, performing detailed inspection of steel and geotechnical work, and eventually garnering the respect of the client and contractor,” he said. While the project required a high level of technical expertise, Peter’s diverse experience and ability to communicate clearly and adapt to a myriad of personalities helped him stay ahead of the curve. This gained him favor among both the client and contractor. “Clarity and specificity are very important in our industry,” Peter said. “Years down the line your work must still be understood.”
To see more Faces of Formulating Excellence, click here.
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WElcome back, Carter!
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(L:R) Ed Vaughn, Walt Mudrowsky, PE; John Pietrobono, PE; and Delaware Governor Jack Markell at the Carter Road ribbon cutting.
rban joined Delaware Governor Jack Markell, Transportation Secretary Shailen Bhatt, and members of the project team and local community to celebrate the anticipated completion of the $4 million Carter Road-Sunnyside Road to Wheatleys Pond Road reconstruction in Smyrna, DE. “Carter Road was once a narrow roadway with no shoulders
and minimal pedestrian facilities,” said Bhatt. “But the many improvements will greatly accommodate both vehicle and pedestrian traffic. While many of our projects benefit interstate traffic, I am pleased to say this is a project for Delawareans. More specifically, this will benefit the people of Smyrna economically, and by enhancing their safety and improving their quality of living.” Urban was responsible for project development, public outreach, concept through final design and plans, specifications and estimates, and construction consultation. The design incorporated LED lighting and best management practices in stormwater management. Improvements included widening Carter Road to two 11-foot travel lanes; two five-foot shoulders; installing curbs and sidewalks for pedestrians; drainage system for stormwater; relocation of utility poles; street lighting; bicycle lanes; ADA-compliant sidewalks and ramps; and a new signal at the Sunnyside Road intersection. Additionally, the Delaware Department of Transportation requested that the pavement be reconstructed using Full-Depth Reclamation (FDR), a process that uses the old asphalt and base material for the new road. This technique limits waste and reduces construction truck traffic, a more sustainable solution than conventional methods. clients / 26
FULL-DEPTH RECLAMATION This process uses the old asphalt and base material for the new road. Here are the benefits.
CON S ERV ES EN ERGY Completed in-place and on-grade so trucking and other material handling issues are eliminated or greatly reduced. Also, no heating fuel is needed since it is a cold process.
CON S ERV ES MA T ERIA L S Existing pavement materials (stone and asphalt) are reused, thus conserving limited resources.
CROW N A N D CROS S Slope easily restored.
COS T - EFFECT IV E Addresses the cause of pavement failure, weak bases.
CON S T RUCT ION T IME RED UCED Recycling in-place is much more efficient than hauling materials away.
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The rehabilitation work was completed in less than two years.
Happy Days are Here Again The rehabilitation work that began in 2012 was much anticipated by the area’s residents as improvements to Carter Road were originally envisioned as far back as 1999. Utilizing both federal (80%) and state (20%) funding, reconstruction was completed in less than two years. Smyrna’s Mayor, Joanne Masten, who has lived in the town for 65 years in the same house just two blocks off of Carter Road, offered this perspective, “Carter Road for many years wasn’t developed as nicely as it is, but it’s always been our entrance to get
CARTER ROAD - BEFORE
to Route 13. When it was shut down, it inconvenienced everybody that lived in the Town of Smyrna as well as all the surrounding communities. Now with this road completed, it’s just an absolutely wonderful addition to the Town of Smyrna.” When asked whether the community was satisfied with the product, Masten said, “I think the community is very satisfied. The fruits of that will be in June when the Smyrna Swim Club opens because it’ll make it a
CARTER ROAD - AFTER
lot easier for the citizens and their children to get there whether they’re driving, walking, or going biking.”
For more information, contact: John Pietrobono, PE, Vice President 302.689.0260 firstname.lastname@example.org clients / 28
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In THE NEWS
Urban to Provide Monitoring and Technical Assistance Support to the Federal Rail Administration The U.S. Department of Transportation, Volpe National Transportation Systems Center, has selected Urban to provide monitoring and technical assistance to the Federal Rail Administration. Under this five-year indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity task order contract, Urban’s scope of work may include monitoring, technical assistance, compliance, program management, deliverable review, and training. Urban will draw upon close to 30 years of related experience gained through providing program management oversight experience to the Federal Transit Administration, as well as a proven record with task order contracts.
Urban’s Philadelphia Office Celebrates LEED® CI Silver Certification The United States Green Building Council has recognized Urban’s Philadelphia Headquarters as LEED® Silver under the 2009 Commercial Interiors rating system. Janet Milkman, Executive Director for the Delaware Valley Green Building Council, visited the office and said, “In certifying their office space to the LEED standard, Urban demonstrates both leadership and good business sense. They understand that implementing green building practices will positively impact the environment, human health, and their bottom line. We congratulate them on this significant achievement.”
Amtrak Re-opens West Plaza at 30th Street Station Amtrak, SEPTA, and NJ Transit passengers traveling through 30th Street Station in Philadelphia can access the 30th Street side of the iconic building via a newly reconstructed West Plaza. The plaza features 100 additional bike racks, expanded parking, and new outdoor seating options, among other improvements. The $30 million Amtrak-funded project also includes renovating the steel infrastructure beneath the pedestrian plaza. Urban
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managed the rehabilitation of the street-level West Plaza, and will continue to oversee the ongoing work on the basementlevel parking garage. Additionally, Urban is managing a separate construction contract involving structural steel replacement and painting at the passenger platform level.
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