RETTEW Receives Engineering Excellence Award for Auction Road Bridge Replacement Project

New Bridge Mimics Historical 1916 Structure, Improves Roadway Safety 

Lancaster, Pa. — The American Council of Engineering Companies of Pennsylvania (ACEC/PA) awarded a 2010 Diamond Award to RETTEW, an Engineering News-Record top 500 design firm providing engineering, transportation, environmental consulting, land development, planning and surveying services, for the Auction Road Bridge replacement project. RETTEW and its client, Lancaster County, received the award recognizing engineering excellence at a ceremony held Thursday, February 4, 2010, in Hershey, Pa.

“RETTEW is grateful to have worked with Lancaster County on this unique bridge replacement project,” said Mark Lauriello, PE, president, RETTEW. “I commend the county on its efforts to preserve the area’s history and cultural heritage and improve roadway safety.”

Located between Rapho and Penn Townships in Lancaster County, Pa., Auction Road Bridge was originally built in 1916 as a 58-foot single-span reinforced-concrete tied-through bridge carrying Auction Road over Big Chickies Creek. The original one-lane bridge was eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places and believed to be one of only four reinforced-concrete tied-through arch bridges remaining in the commonwealth.

Excessive concrete deterioration reduced the bridge’s weight limit and its ability to reliably meet modern-day traffic demands. As a result, Lancaster County sought to replace the bridge and in 2005 contracted RETTEW to design a replacement structure reflective of the architectural and historical features of the original bridge.

RETTEW designed a context-sensitive bridge that features precast-concrete tied-through arches and a cast-in-place concrete deck, mimicking the original bridge in both form and function. The 47-ton, 72-foot-long tied-through arches serve as the main load carrying structural members and most prominent feature of the new bridge. RETTEW also widened the bridge to two lanes and improved sight distances, increasing safety for modern-day traffic and load-bearing trucks.

“RETTEW’s engineers and staff were closely involved with every phase of the project, resulting in a new bridge that meets today’s transportation needs,” said Charles Douts, Jr., Lancaster County administrator. “Lancaster County is able to reap the benefits of a new bridge while still enjoying the original design—a valued piece of our history and preservation.”

In addition to the ACEC/PA Diamond Award, the Auction Road Bridge replacement project received the 2009 Outstanding New Short-Span Bridge award from the Association for Bridge Construction and Design, Susquehanna Chapter, and the Best Bridge Project award from the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute. The Pennsylvania Highway Information Association, PennDOT and the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania awarded Lancaster County the Road and Bridge Safety Improvement Award for the bridge replacement, and The International Bridge Conference (IBC) selected the project to be presented at IBC’s 2009 conference.

RETTEW is an Engineering News-Record top 500 design firm providing engineering, transportation, environmental consulting, land development, planning and surveying services to a broad range of clients in the mid-Atlantic region. Beginning in 1969 as a single-person office, today RETTEW has more than 200 employees. Offices are located in Bethlehem, Chambersburg, Lancaster, Mechanicsburg and Schuylkill Haven, Pa.; and Liberty and Margaretville, N.Y. The firm will soon open an office in Williamsport, PA. For more information on any of RETTEW’s services, please call 1-800-RETTEW-5 or e-mail