As the county seat and largest city in Berks County, Reading has a population of more than 88,000, and is bustling with industry, art, and culture.
The city’s residents are very proud of its deep history and love its bridges that cross the Schuylkill River. The jewel of these bridges is the Penn Street Bridge, considered the “Gateway to Reading.”Reading has five large open-spandrel concrete arch bridges, and the Penn Street Bridge (aka the Penn Street Viaduct) is the oldest, built in 1913. This bridge is adjacent to a limited access freeway, S.R. 422, and is the main entrance to the city for more than 22,000 daily commuters.
The 1,337-ft-long concrete viaduct spans the Schuylkill River, Norfolk Southern railroad, the Reading Area Community College (RACC) campus, Front Street, a local trail, and a utility access road.At the onset of the project, Pennsylvania DOT (PennDOT) Engineering District 5 and its design team, led by Gannett Fleming, realized that the $42.5 million historic bridge rehabilitation project would require many carefully coordinated details.