Continuing Education

Pennsylvania's First Exoderic Deck: Accelerated Deck Replacement & Rehabilitation of the Liberty Bridge

The Liberty Bridge has been a landmark structure and Pittsburgh icon since it opened in 1928. It created the modern suburbs, quadrupled property values south of Pittsburgh, and opened with a parade five miles long. However, by 2014, the bridge carrying 55,000 vehicles per day was in poor condition. It could no longer carry trucks and had become a poster-child for America's infrastructure crisis. Sixty Minutes, profiling America's neglected infrastructure, highlighted the bridge. Referring to Liberty Bridge and others like it, Ray LaHood, United States Secretary of Transportation, stated plainly: "Our infrastructure is on life support right now."

PennDOT and HDR responded with a rehabilitation project that preserves the structure and meets current engineering and accessibility standards, using innovations including:

  • Accelerated bridge construction techniques to replace a bridge deck the size of three football fields while minimizing traffic impacts
  • A new Exodermic deck - the first ever used in Pennsylvania - to provide a stiff, light weight replacement for the failing grid deck. Thanks to innovative solutions, today Liberty Bridge is off life support. The new bridge will support life in Pittsburgh for generations, with an ADA accessible sidewalk permitting all people to enjoy crossing this historic structure.
  • Date: 4/3/2019 - 4/5/2019
  • PDH Credits: 0


Roger Eaton, PE; Jason Zang, PE

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