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Heth’s Run Bridge Project Honored by Pittsburgh Chapter of the Association for Bridge Construction and Design

Buchart Horn, Inc., a full-service international engineering and architectural firm, has won the 2014 Outstanding New Single-Span Bridge award from the Association for Bridge Construction & Design (ABCD), Pittsburgh Chapter. Buchart Horn was recognized for the design and replacement of the historic Heth’s Run Bridge at the ABCD awards presentation and dinner held on Wednesday, May 20, 2015.

“We’re honored to receive this award for such an important project,” said Noreen Karolski, senior project manager at Buchart Horn. “Heth’s Run Bridge was a historic bridge and the new bridge that honors the original structure will now be a point of pride for this community.”

Since the Heth’s Run Bridge’s original construction in 1914, the structure and the landscape of the surrounding area had evolved significantly. Time, elements and traffic took their toll. Additionally, many of the bridge’s original architectural and ornamental features were no longer evident, and the structure had deteriorated so much that it required replacement. Buchart Horn successfully addressed structural deficiencies, poor riding surface and pavement conditions, and horizontal geometric roadway deficiencies.

“Replacement of the historic Heth’s Run Bridge presented a significant challenge in terms of both bridge design and public perception,” adds Karolski. “When this project began, the bridge was the poster child for the state of infrastructure in America and was even featured on an NBC Nightly News story concerning the poor state of the country’s bridges. We were proud to offer a design that not only addressed meeting the technical requirements for the bridge’s functionality, but also the community needs for aesthetics.”

The firm also looked to accommodate future plans for Heth’s Run Valley through removal and disposal of residual material below the existing bridge. The new single-span bridge is a composite steel plate girder structure with a single span of 215 feet. It incorporates many of the historical and aesthetic features of the existing structure, such as large decorative urns, balusters for the pedestrian railing, quoins on the abutments, decorative light standards and haunched steel girders painted the color of concrete. The new Heth’s Run Bridge was opened after 13 months of construction.