Mercer county bridge 415.2
Comprehensive collaboration, historic considerations, local aesthetics, and state-of-the-art design concepts were all critical elements to the successful replacement of Mercer County’s Bridge 415.2 on Lower Ferry Road in Ewing Township.
The existing 10-foot x 6-foot, concrete box culvert structure experienced extensive downstream scour due to the flow of the waters. Mercer County, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP,) and French & Parrello Associates (FPA) formed a partnership to deliver a 3-sided frame structure with 30-foot clear span to allow the natural stream channel to be restored through the structure, resulting in reduced scour and improved flow along the stream. To prevent future scour, the design included the installation of articulated block matting on the stream banks and bottom, filled with native soils, with a special grass seed mix planted on the banks.
Because the bridge is approximately 500 feet from the D&R Canal, its appearance was a crucial concern for D&R Canal Commission approval. Stone from the original structure was incorporated into the new bridge, which was accented with an approved brown-colored railing and guiderail to improve aesthetics. Bridge Design, Roadway Design, Geotechnical Engineering, Environmental Permitting, Utility Coordination, and Construction Support were the key elements for this nearly $2.5 million project.
The project maximized the use of precast elements, with construction successfully completed in about four months to avoid environmental timing restrictions and minimize impacts to major area employers.
Michael Drobny – Manager of Highway & Traffic, French & Parrello Associates
Michael Drobny, PE, CME, has more than 20 years of experience in the transportation engineering industry, currently serving as Manager of French & Parrello Associates’ Highway and Traffic Engineering Division. He has a BS in Civil Engineering from Rutgers University, and is a licensed Professional Engineer in NJ, PA, and NY, as well as a Certified Municipal Engineer in NJ. His diverse experience includes roadway improvements, traffic signal installations, bicycle/pedestrian safety, culvert replacements, and drainage improvements. He has served as Project Manager for design and concept development phases for transportation agencies such as NJDOT and DRJTBC, as well as many of the State’s 21 counties, including serving as FPA’s project manager for Mercer County’s replacement of Bridge 415.2.
Joe Vena, PE, Supervising Engineer, Mercer County
Joseph B. Vena, PE, over 10 years of experience in the transportation engineering industry, currently serving as the Supervising Engineer of the Mercer County Engineering Division.He has a BS in Civil Engineering from Rutgers University, and is a licensed Professional Engineer in NJ. He specializes in bridge rehabilitation and replacement projects, havingoverseen over twenty bridge and culvert construction projects for the county. He has a wide range of experience in all phases of the projects including planning, funding, management of design, procurement, and construction inspection.
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