The main backbone of the Towpath Trail in Ohio passes by the
Carnegie Avenue Bridge, where thousands of visitors travel
every year. The city of Akron turned to BridgeTek, provider of
CON/SPAN Bridge Systems, to replace the deteriorating structure
with a modular precast bridge system that would provide a low-main-
tenance, cost-effective and attractive solution.
The original Carnegie Avenue Bridge was reconstructed several
times, most recently with a prestressed concrete box beam design
having a clear span of 47.5 ft and a width of 30.3 ft. The sidewalks were
only in fair condition and the curbs and deck were deteriorated with
areas of cracking and delamination. Repeated attempts to patch the
deck with asphalt barely concealed exposed prestressing strands on
the top and bottom of the existing structure.
"We were extremely concerned with the height clearance for travel
up and down the Lake Nesmith Feeder Channel,” said city of Akron
Engineer Mike Teodecki. “With the new bridge system we were able meet one of our primary goals and raise the height of the structure from 5.4 ft to 8 ft for future boat traffic.”
The new buried twin-cell structure provides a long design life and reduced maintenance by eliminating the bridge deck. The solution also allowed the city of Akron to bury the gas and water mains that were previously visibly mounted to the structure.
The city wanted a bridge that would incorporate beautification into its design. The new structure provides a pleasing, textured and color-stained look that is unique for bridges in the area. It is one of the first structures visitors to Akron see from the Towpath Trail as they enter the city from the south.