Getting Involved

The Project and Study AreaPublic MeetingsProject Materials

The McBride Viaduct is located in the City of Erie, Erie County, Pennsylvania, approximately five miles north of the Interstate 90 / PA-290 (Wesleyville/Colt Station) Interchange. The McBride Viaduct provides a 1,170-foot bridge span running north/south between East 12th Street and East 19th Street and spanning multiple sets of CSX railroad tracks. The project area is located within the lower and central eastside neighborhoods. The area surrounding the viaduct along East Avenue is zoned manufacturing and includes adjacent industrial/manufacturing buildings such as Liberty Iron & Metal, BASF, Geosource, McCreary Roofing, Accuride, and Erie Mill and Press. At each end of the viaduct are areas dominated by single family residential land use with limited commercial use.

Details of the project study area include:

  • The north end of the bridge is adjacent to and south of the intersection of East 12th Street and East Avenue.
  • The south end of the bridge is adjacent to and north of the intersection of East 19th Street and East Avenue.
  • The intersection of East 12th Street and the Bayfront Connector is one block (approximately 630 feet) west of the north end of the McBride Viaduct.

The project focused on the following study intersections:

  • Bayfront Connector & East 12th Street (signalized intersection)
  • East 12th Street & East Avenue (signalized intersection)
  • Commercial Street / East Avenue / BASF Driveway (stop-controlled intersection)
  • Buffalo Road Intersection Improvements (by others)

Buffalo Raod Interchange Improvements

The bridge was originally constructed in 1938 with subsequent major rehabilitations. Several standard inspections occurred over the past decade; these were performed in accordance with the National Bridge Inspection Standards and ultimately yielded a “Poor” rating for the structure. The general condition of the individual structural elements is as follows: Deck – Poor; Superstructure – Satisfactory; Substructure – Poor. The viaduct is considered to be both “Structurally Deficient” and “Functionally Obsolete” due to the poor rate of its structural elements and the fact that it does not meet current design standards.

After an interim inspection in 2008, the bridge was posted with a 22 ton weight limit. For public safety reasons, the City of Erie closed the bridge to vehicular traffic on June 2, 2010. Based on the Alternative Analysis Report for the McBride Viaduct Feasibility Study completed in 2014, the City of Erie, PennDOT District 1-0, and the Federal Highway Administration approved of the preferred alternative to remove the McBride Viaduct and perform several adjacent intersection and pedestrian improvements.

With the McBride Viaduct set to be removed, an improved pedestrian connection will utilize the Bayfront Connector sidewalk to the intersection of the Bayfront Connector and East 12th Street, with sidewalk improvements on the northern side of East 12th Street to the intersection of East Avenue. Pedestrian improvements are being designed at East 12th Street and the Bayfront Connector, consisting of new ADA ramps, crosswalks, expanded sidewalk and pedestrian refuge areas.

The scope of work includes the following elements:

  • Removal of the McBride Viaduct
  • Removal of all piers, staircases, and ramps
  • Filling-in to grade the removed items above with pavement
  • Relocating utilities that interfere with the bridge removal
  • Line striping East Avenue for two-way traffic, including line striping for cul-de-sacs on each end of East Avenue
  • Installing fencing along each end of East Avenue to prohibit pedestrians from crossing the railroad
  • Installing new sidewalk along the north end of East 12th Street
  • Expanding the pedestrian refuge areas at the intersection of the Bayfront Connector and East 12th Street
  • Relocating any impacted utilities such as pedestrian push buttons and junction boxes
  • Construction of 4 ADA ramps

As part of this project, the following tasks were completed:

  • Individual business owner meetings were held to go over the project and gather any issues (Accuride – 06/01/16, BASF – 05/25/16, Erie Mill and Press – 04/27/16, Geosource – 05/25/16, Liberty Iron & Metal – 03/31/16, McCreary Roofing – 04/27/16).
  • The existing drainage on East Avenue was inspected during a field view on 05/18/17.
  • ROW investigation was completed and no ROW takes or Temporary Construction Easements (TCEs) will be required for this phase of the project.
  • All utilities were confirmed during the utility meeting on 09/26/16.
  • The PUC meeting was held on 11/17/16.
  • As part of the removal of the McBride Viaduct, a Preliminary Engineering Agreement was entered into with CSX and the demolition plans were initially submitted on 09/16/16 and resubmitted per comments on 06/30/17.
  • The Pre-Demolition Asbestos Bridge Inspection was completed by Urban Engineers on 04/05/17.
  • Cardno conducted the subsurface utility engineering designating and test hole set-up on 06/12/17, held a PA One Call pre-construction meeting on 06/14/17 to touch base with involved utilities, and completed the ten test hole locations the week of 06/19/17.

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