Hoover-Mason Trestle receives 2015 Best Project award

Bethlehem, PA Bethlehem Redevelopment Authority, Boyle Construction Management and the entire project team has been awarded ENR MidAtlantic’s 2015 Best Projects: Landscape/Hardscape/Urban Development for the Hoover-Mason Trestle, the ambitious new connecting promenade at SteelStacks in Bethlehem.

The completion of this project marked the latest in a series of important revitalization efforts for the southside of Bethlehem. Located on the largest brownfield site in the U.S., the Hoover-Mason Trestle (HMT) is part museum, part circulation walk, and part attraction conceived and built to tie together the arts and entertainment complex that now occupies the former Bethlehem Steel site.

The new one-third mile long elevated walkway is built upon the original heavy-duty railway designed more than a century ago to haul iron ore to the steel furnaces. HMT was an engineering marvel in its time, which presented a new opportunity to be adapted as connector of the various parts of the new recreational arts campus built along the same path and included in the current revitalization program.

HMT features dramatic lighting along with native plantings and a WiFi-guided historical walking tour, partly in the shadow of the behemoth former blast furnaces. HMT has several dramatic entrances, including an elevator and monumental stairs with architecturally daring cantilevered obelisk supports, whose exposed new construction details contrast with old rusty background structures and highlight the site’s steelmaking history.

The award recognizes Bethlehem Redevelopment Authority, Boyle Construction Management, WRT, Simpson Gumpertz & Heger, Maser Consulting and the entire design team’s many engineering and project management achievements. Custom features involved difficult, often competing engineering problems. Repurposing HMT required sophisticated engineering regarding complex load requirements. New and unexpected problems emerged after the original trestle structure was fully exposed after the project began. Value-driven design options were devised wherever possible, which dramatically drove down project costs from original projections.

“It’s really amazing how all the engineering challenges were overcome in a way that provides a seamlessly beautiful and engaging experience for the pedestrian visitors. HMT is a first-class addition to Bethlehem’s southside revitalization,” said Tony Hanna, executive director, Bethlehem Redevelopment Authority.

Project cost: $15.4 million Project end: August 2015 Construction manager: Boyle Construction Architect: Wallace Roberts Todd Engineering collaborators: Simpson Gumpertz & Heger and Maser Consulting The ENR Regional Best Projects Awards are a series of special events to celebrate and honor the building teams that created the best projects of 2015 nationwide.

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