Michael Baker’s role in facilitating the transport of a superload from the Pennsylvania-Delaware border to a location near Allentown, Pa., received a 2019 Honor Award from ACEC Pennsylvania. Along the route, 33 structures were identified as “failed” by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT). Michael Baker conducted a field view of the proposed route to evaluate the structures’ conditions and document lateral and vertical constraints related to the bridges, medians, traffic signals, overhead bridges and sign structures and railroad crossings.
The superload weighed 565,490 pounds. The transport convoy was 18 feet wide, 206 feet and 6 inches long, and 16 feet and 6 inches high. The main transport trailer included eight double axel units followed and proceeded by individual pull and push trucks.
A traffic control plan was prepared to provide details related to the superload move. The plan featured a detailed route description with permit restrictions, vehicle positioning to cross structures, and movement staging, including an incremental description of the hauling route and associated traffic control and transport movement actions, as well as incremental stopping locations to allow queued traffic to pass. Bridge plans and inspection reports were accessed to determine bridge dimensions, components and conditions when available. Even though the bridges were originally determined to not pass, Michael Baker’s independent analysis was able to achieve acceptable ratings for all 33 bridges.