Northampton County P3 Bridge Renewal Project

Northampton County | Northampton County, PA
bridge after reconstruction

Bridges in Northampton County, Pennsylvania were in need of replacements or rehabilitation due to deteriorating conditions. The County decided the Public-Private Partnership, or P3, would be the best course of action for this project. A P3 is a contractual agreement between a public and private entity that transfers the responsibility of a facility’s engineering, construction, operation and/or maintenance to the private sector for a defined period of time. This allows the private sector to perform by contract a service previously provided by the public sector. This ensures the private firm receives payments either from existing revenue sources or through the collection of new tolls or user fees.

Located in rural communities, all 33 bridges have average daily traffic (ADT) of less than 1000, and 21 of the bridges had load posted weight restrictions (8 structurally deficient and 18 functionally obsolete). The existing bridge types included concrete arches, encased steel girders, steel beams with an open grate deck and concrete slabs. Of the 33 bridges, there were six box culverts proposed and the remaining were Prefabricated Conspan Arches. With the exception of one bridge, the four bridges to be rehabilitated were stone masonry arch bridges which received or will receive a steel liner and new concrete moment slab deck. At the start of the project, the average age of the bridges was approximately 70 years old with a span length averaging 47’. Two of the replacements were 2-spans with the remaining being single spans.

The GPA has relied on Benesch heavily for all administrative aspects of the project including working with the County auditors, GPA solicitors and utility companies. As Third-Party Engineer, Benesch reviewed and approved design documents and design criteria, and maintained the project SharePoint site. We provided a status report at monthly public meetings and reviewed milestone payments and change orders. Benesch assisted with ROW acquisition and utility relocations, conducted part-time inspections of critical components, determined punch list items, and submitted letters of substantial completion and final acceptance.

Practice Areas