Cumberland Appalachian Trail Conservancy – Cumberland County, Pennsylvania

The American Council of Engineering Companies of Pennsylvania (ACEC/PA) Diamond Honor Award winning Route 944 Underpass conveys hikers on the Appalachian National Scenic Trail underneath Route 944 (or Wertzville Road), a busy roadway in suburban Harrisburg that carries approximately 14,000 vehicles per day.

This level of traffic had made it the most dangerous crossing of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail in Pennsylvania, but it also created a challenge for the Appalachian Trail Conservancy to improve without unduly affecting the drivers who travel this road daily.

As project engineer, Herbert, Rowland & Grubic, Inc. (HRG), suggested an innovative approach to construction in which the contractors from Hempt Bros., Inc. would close the road completely and work around the clock for 60 hours to build the structure over a holiday weekend when traffic would be lowest.

Thanks to this construction approach and a design that carefully positioned the structure within the existing rock formation to avoid costly and time-consuming excavation, the project was constructed at a savings of 54% from the original project estimate.  In addition, it was designed with particular sensitivity to the environment due to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy’s commitment to “lie lightly on the land,” and it incorporated future roadway improvements planned by the regional planning commission into the concept in order to protect the value of the project investment for years to come.

Project Highlights

  • Recipient of 2010 ACEC/PA Diamond Honor Award, Small Projects Category
  • HRG design met the client need to, “lie lightly on the land”
  • Total project cost came in $381,041 under budget

Client / Owner

The National Park Service
Appalachian Trail Conservancy
799 Washington Street
P.O. Box 807
Harpers Ferry, West Virginia 25425

Related People

Contact an HRG Transportation Professional for more information on this project or related services.

Preparation and Closure Time Lapse

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