Built in 1955, Hawk Falls Bridge (NB-610) is one of only four deck truss structures on the Pennsylvania Turnpike similar to Minnesota’s I-35W bridge, which collapsed. The bridge spans 738 feet and rises 200 feet over Mud Run in Penn Forest and Kidder Townships. The bridge’s leaking deck joints were removed but had already caused significant deterioration to main load-carrying members. The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) needed to assess and repair the deterioration while still keeping the bridge open to turnpike traffic.
PTC selected RETTEW to provide preventative maintenance recommendations for rehabilitating the Hawk Falls Bridge. RETTEW performed a visual inspection of the bridge superstructure to verify and locate the deterioration noted in previous inspection reports and load ratings. The rehabilitation focused on repairing holes in the truss bottom chord members by adding new repair plates, addressing the extensive crevice corrosion on the truss built-up sections using a penetrating sealer and coating system, and repairing stringer cracks. We also added structural monitoring system to the bridge for short-term monitoring. Through this timely rehabilitation project, RETTEW was able to provide PTC with cost-effective recommendations that extend the service life of this significant bridge located on the Turnpike’s Northeast Extension.