Design & Construction Details

Milepost A89 Hawk Falls Design & Construction Details

Bridge Replacement Project
Northeastern Extension Milepost A-88.59

Construction Schedule

Hawk Falls Construction Schedule

Construction Update: Summer 2023

Bridge Arches to be Erected this Summer

Summer 2023 – After more than 15 months of construction on the bridge’s complex foundations (see below), erection of the Turnpike’s signature span for the Pocono Region, the Hawk Falls Bridge, will start this summer with placement of the three arch ribs that will give the structure its unique look.

Foundation construction

In preparation for arch construction, the contractor is carving temporary roads into the steep slopes on either side of the bridge (see below). These roads will provide access for erection of temporary towers that will hold up the arch segments in place until all pieces of the arch are ready to be closed, making a self-supporting structural system.

The project’s roadway work was largely completed this spring. The area immediately around the bridge is being prepared for the two large cranes — one on each side of the bridge — that will be used for the arches’ erection. 

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Both cranes will be assembled with a main boom and “luffing jib” (a tower crane attached to the end of the boom used for lifting) to make the 400’ reach the center of the span. These cranes will be clearly visible to motorists as they travel along their trackway parallel to the Turnpike and are likely to be in place until the arches and floor system are completed, forecasted for spring 2024.

In addition, work is scheduled to start on the first construction stage of the new, neighboring Turnpike bridge over Hickory Run Road (Route 534), which is also being replaced as part of this contract (see below). Installation of shoring along the east side of the Turnpike to support the embankments is complete. Pile driving is expected to start in August for the new structure.

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Project Overview

The work is part of the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission’s project to replace two Pennsylvania Turnpike bridges on the Northeast Extension (Interstate 476) in the Pocono Mountains between the Lake Harmony/Jim Thorpe (Exit 87) and Pocono (Exit 95) interchanges in Carbon County.

The replacement Hawk Falls Bridge will be 720 feet long and will incorporate a unique, eye-catching “skewback arch” design to create a “Signature Bridge” to compliment the Turnpike’s ongoing improvement program for the busy Northeast Extension (I-476).

Turnpike widening for bridge construction

The new bridge will be four lanes wide, with six-foot medians and 12-foot shoulders. It will replace the existing 738-foot-long truss bridge that is nearing the end of its design service life and is considered functionally obsolete due to a lack of shoulders.

Turnpike traffic will be traveling over the new Hawk Falls bridge in summer 2024 and the entire project will be completed in late 2025.

The project also will replace the Hickory Run Road Bridge, located directly to the north of the Hawk Falls Bridge. This three-span overpass bridge, measuring 111' in length, carries the PA Turnpike over PA State Route 534. It will be replaced with a new 120' long, single-span bridge. By eliminating the two existing concrete piers, the new bridge will provide a more open feel for travelers on Hickory Run Road and also provides room for future roadway upgrades on this vital link through Hickory Run State Park.
Rain garden construction

The new bridges are expected to be completed in 2024. On completion, the existing bridges will be demolished.

Travelers are advised to reduce speed in the work zone as loaded dump trucks and other construction vehicles exit and enter the highway from the adjacent work area.

Local motorists on Hickory Run Road (Route 534) may encounter occasional flagger-controlled stoppages for construction vehicles entering or leaving the construction access road there.

The $88 million, toll-funded project is located mostly within the boundaries of Hickory Run State Park. The Hawk Falls Bridge is named after one of the Park’s most popular attractions.

Project Map

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Hawk Falls Map Full Size

Project Photo Album

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