The Penn Street Historic Bridge Rehabilitation project, designed by Gannett Fleming, recently received recognition from Preservation Pennsylvania, winning the 2020 Ralph Modjeski Award for excellence in transportation design, preservation, or archaeology.
“From the onset, the goal of this project was to preserve the historic character of the bridge while meeting modern day needs, so it could truly be the ‘Gateway to Reading,’” said Brian Teles, PE, Gannett Fleming senior project manager. “We are grateful to have been involved in a project that made a difference for this community.”
The historic rehabilitation of the Penn Street Bridge in Reading, Pennsylvania, for the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, transformed a deteriorating structure into what the local media called an “impressive gateway to the city.” Guided by community input and the U.S. secretary of the interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation, a design team led by Gannett Fleming retained the iconic appearance of the 100-year-old concrete arch bridge while enhancing its structural integrity, extending its service life, and improving safety for motorists and pedestrians.
Outcomes of the historic rehabilitation project include:
- Enhanced safety and mobility for 22,000 daily commuters
- Increased service life for an iconic concrete arch structure, featuring open-spandrel arches
- New LED lighting to illuminate the roadway and sidewalk and create a dramatic visual effect at night without compromising the bridge’s historical character.