Portland, Pennsylvania, is a borough of roughly 520 residents that is nestled along the Delaware River in Northampton County. Located in the borough, the State Street Bridge over Jacoby Creek had been closed to traffic due to structural deficiencies. Feedback from Portland residents helped PennDOT, District 5-0 determine that the bridge was an important link for the community, particularly during river-flooding events impacting PA Route 611. To address the situation, a team led by Erdman Anthony undertook the design of a replacement structure for the bridge.
Minimizing impacts to the surroundings was a key design challenge, with buildings present in three of the four bridge quadrants, two driveways just beyond the south end of the bridge, and a mill-dam immediately upstream of the bridge. The original mill foundations, an important wetland, and numerous utilities also required consideration.
The replacement structure was designed to an alignment like the existing bridge; construction access was carefully planned; and a fill slope was retained to protect the surroundings. The span length of the proposed bridge was increased to minimize the size of the nearby abutment, significantly reducing construction costs. The result of these efforts was a new, 41-foot-long single-span prestressed concrete PA bulb-tee beam bridge that was constructed with minimal disruption to the community and has restored an important link to Portland.