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*"Covered Roadways in Urban Settings - Reflections of a Structural Engineer" . Harry A Capers, Jr. P.E. . Issues of structural engineering related to public policy specifically dealing with context sensitive design issues in the design of structures.

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covered roadways in urban settings reflections of a structural engineer

*"Covered Roadways in Urban Settings - Reflections of a Structural Engineer"

Harry A Capers, Jr. P.E.

topics to be discussed
Issues of structural engineering related to public policy specifically dealing with context sensitive design issues in the design of structures.

Focus will be on individual experiences during the planning, design and construction of two urban covered roadway projects built in new jersey around 2000.

Comments will reflect concept development, planning of the project, funding issues and determination of architectural and structural scheme

Topics to be discussed
core principles of css
Thinking beyond the pavement conference in maryland in 1998

Outcomes - core principles about CSS product and process that can be applied to both project implementation and evaluation.

The definition of css was defined by

"qualities that characterize excellence in transportation design,"

"characteristics of the process that yield excellence."

These "qualities" and "characteristics" are goals for any css project, and can also be used as evaluation criteria upon its completion.

Core Principles of CSS
qualities that characterize excellence in transportation design
The project satisfies the purpose and needs as agreed to by a full range of stakeholders. This agreement is forged in the earliest phase of the project and amended as warranted as the project develops.

The project is a safe facility for both the user and the community.

The project is in harmony with the community, and it preserves environmental, scenic, aesthetic, historic, and natural resource values of the area, i.e., exhibits context sensitive design.

The project exceeds the expectations of both designers and stakeholders and achieves a level of excellence in people's minds.

The project involves efficient and effective use of the resources (time, budget, community) of all involved parties.

The project is designed and built with minimal disruption to the community.

The project is seen as having added lasting value to the community.

"Qualities that Characterize Excellence in Transportation Design"
the characteristics of the process that will yield excellence in transportation design
Communication with all stakeholders is open, honest, early, and continuous.

A multidisciplinary team is established early, with disciplines based on the needs of the specific project, and with the inclusion of the public.

A full range of stakeholders is involved with transportation officials in the scoping phase. The purposes of the project are clearly defined, and consensus on the scope is forged before proceeding.

The highway development process is tailored to meet the circumstances. This process should examine multiple alternatives that will result in a consensus of approach methods.

A commitment to the process from top agency officials and local leaders is secured.

The public involvement process, which includes informal meetings, is tailored to the project.

The landscape, the community, and valued resources are understood before engineering design is started. A full range of tools for communication about project alternatives is used (e.g., visualization).

The Characteristics of the Process that will Yield Excellence in Transportation Design"
nchrp report 480 a guide to best practices for achieving context sensitive solutions
NCHRP Report 480: A Guide to Best Practices for Achieving Context Sensitive Solutions

large project details for atlantic city brigantine connector
Large Project Details for Atlantic City Brigantine Connector
  • Atlantic City Brigantine ConnectorAtlantic City, NJProject Start: 1997 Project Complete: 2001Project Value: $190,595,000Joint Venture Company:Yonkers/GCCOClient: New Jersey Dept. of TransportationSouth Jersey Transportation AuthorityAtlandia Design & Furnishings, Inc.(A Mirage Resorts Inc. Co.) c/oParsons Brinckerhoff Quade & Douglas, Inc. 506 Carnegie Center Blvd., 2nd FloorPrinceton, NJ 08540
project description
Project Description:
  • The joint venture team of Yonkers Contracting Co., Inc. and Granite Construction Company also constructed a 2,900-foot cut and cover tunnel with open depressed roadway sections on either end. The tunnel, which goes under Route 30 and a residential area, included storm water pump stations, ventilation and related electrical/mechanical systems.
  • The fast-paced project allowed 13 months for design and 28 months for construction and was expected to spur development in the city’s expanding casino area, where three new casino-hotels were to be built.
work items
72,000 linear feet permanent piling

116,000 cubic yards structural concrete

74,000 tons asphalt pavement

7,400 linear feet AASHTO bridge girders

1,060 tons bridge structural steel

7,300 tons sheetpile shoring

4,330 tons excavation steel bracing

580,000 cubic yards excavation

650,000 cubic yards embankment

50,000 square feet MSE walls

17,000,000 pounds rebar

20,000 linear feet reinforced concrete pipe

24,840 linear feet permanent concrete barrier rail

630,000 square feet waterproofing

Work Items:
bids received on a c brigantine connector project
Bids for the design/build contract on the Atlantic City/Brigantine Connector project were received by Atlandia Design, a subsidiary of Mirage Resorts Incorporated (MRI),

The low bid of $190,595,000 was submitted by Yonkers Contracting Company/Granite Construction Company in association with URS Grenier Consultants, Golder Associates, and Schlessinger Associates.

Bids of $229,775,000 from Perini Corporation/Slattery Associates in association with E.E. Cruz & Co., and Howard Needles Tammen and Bergendoff,

Bids of $329,710,000 from Schiavone Construction Co./Buckley & Company, Inc./Parsons Transportation Group in association with Gannett Fleming, Converse Consultants East, and Parsons Engineering Science

Bids Received On A.C./Brigantine Connector Project
NJDOT contributed $95 million from the Transportation Trust Fund.

$65 million was donated from the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority

$60 million was donated from the SJTA.


The project permited the development of Marina lands, which when combined with the roadway construction, were estimated to have generated 63,000 construction and supply industry jobs and 33,000 other related jobs. Three proposed casinos slated to be developed on Marina lands were estimated to generate 16,500 permanent jobs and result in $275 million a year in new state and local tax revenues.

Borgata opened shortly after the roadway was completed

design build dewatering program for the brigantine connector atlantic city nj
Construction of the 3000 foot long cut and cover tunnel section of this project for NJDOT required significant groundwater lowering for cuts as deep as 40 feet directly along side the Penrose Canal. The presence of widespread organic silt deposits throughout the this area of Atlantic City raised the concern about settlement due to widespread groundwater lowering that would be expected with conventional dewatering in highly permeable soils.

The contractor installed a system of 100 deep wells within the tight interlocking steel sheeting that was driven to a 60-foot depth to provide a partial groundwater cut-off. The installed dewatering system provided dry sub grade down to elevation –30 for a period of 16 months. The project was completed with no interruption in groundwater lowering or subsequent excavation and structural work. No settlement was experienced.

Design/Build DewateringProgram for the BrigantineConnector, Atlantic City, NJ
building the connector
  • The tunnel, which has a 14-foot clearance, travels under a landscaped park and a residential area.
  • It parallels a canal where the excavation ranged between 10 and 35 feet deep, and extends into loose sands some 30 feet below the water table.
  • Supporting the sub-grade structure are storm water pump stations (one of which is 45 feet deep), ventilation systems, and related electrical and mechanical systems.
design compromises

The Atlantic City-Brigantine Connector has four 12-foot-wide lanes (two lanes in each direction), with each carriageway separated by a three-foot-high concrete ("Jersey") barrier. There are no shoulders along the section near Brigantine Boulevard, and limited-width shoulders on the elevated section and in the tunnel itself (only on the curves).

other design compromises
Other Design Compromises:

In order to have the ramps for Bacharach Boulevard placed without having steep grades from either the Atlantic City Expressway or the Marina Tunnel, a two-track railroad grade crossing was constructed at this location. Advance warning signals alert motorists of trains approximately one-quarter mile before the crossing. Nevertheless, one pro-transit group, the Delaware Valley Association of Rail Passengers, raised questions about the railroad crossing located near the Atlantic City-New Jersey Transit rail terminal.

and more compromises
And More Compromises
  • The ramp from Bacharach Boulevard to the eastbound connector lacks an acceleration lane; all traffic entering the connector must come to a full stop. Construction of such a lane would have required a prohibitively expensive relocation of the Atlantic Energy power facility.
  • Owing to these design compromises, the speed limit along the length of the connector is 35 MPH. Also owing to the design of the roadway, vehicles carrying hazardous materials are prohibited from using the connector.
route 29 waterfront improvements trenton mercer county20
Project Start: 1998 Project Complete: 2003Project Value: $71 million (Roadway only)

$15 Million for Deck Park

Contractor: Joint Venture Company:PKF Mark III/NCI joint venture

Designer DMJM+Harris

Client: New Jersey Dept. of Transportation

Route 29 Waterfront ImprovementsTrenton, Mercer County
project need
The long-time residents of historic Lamberton Street in downtown TrentonN.J., live in 100-year-old brick row houses that are surrounded by mature trees.

Lamberton Street connected State Route 29, primarily a four- to six-lane freeway running along the Delaware River, with Interstate 295.

In the mid-1990s, the New Jersey Department of Transportation recognized that the situation was unacceptable from the traffic, environmental and human perspective, and undertook the Route 29 tunnel and its companion deck park project to ensure efficient traffic operations and improve the quality of life in the area.

Project Need
community cooperation csd
Community Cooperation - CSD
  • NJDOT began working with the community in 1996 Original proposal was to expand Route 29 into a six-lane highway.
  • The meetings outcomes included
    • a park on the deck over the Route 29 tunnel
    • input in the design, safety, maintenance, recreation and historical and architectural elements for the deck park.
  • Construction on the deck park, South River Walk, began in the Summer of 2002 with construction completed in December 2003.
  • Community Partnering Team was established and meetings continue
context sensitive design
Context Sensitive Design
  • NJDOT formally incorporated it into its procedures in 1999.
  • Community Partnering Team Goals were identified and sub-committees formed to address:
    • Steering
    • Landscape and design
    • Project coordination - Natural resources
    • Bikepath - Pedestrian - Multimodal
    • Safety - Security - Maintenance
    • Funding
    • Local issues
    • Parking
community partnering team
Community Partnering Team
  • The Community Partnering Team focus:
    • Shoreline mitigation at Duck Island
    • Boat docks and pedestrian access at Waterfront Park
    • Parking garage for the stadium and office buildings
    • South River Walk Park
    • Bike path from Stacy Park to the Assumpink Creek
    • North River Walk
bike path
All of the facilities will be linked by a continuous bicyclist and pedestrian path from Stacy Park to Duck Island.

Signs will direct bicyclists and pedestrians to other waterfront amenities.

Will link to the Trenton Marriott Hotel,

the Heritage Trails to the Philadelphia East Coast Greenway to Newark,

the capital to coast connecting the shore trails to the east and

the Delaware & Raritan Canal to Lambertville/New Hope to the north.

Bike Path
boat docks
Boat Docks
  • The Mercer County docks, located on the Delaware River starting in front of the Waterfront Park Baseball Stadium, will add 1,000 feet of access to the Trenton waterfront on the Delaware River.
  • A second phase of this project will include an amphitheater for programmed or informal events, an interactive fountain for family fun and a waterside plaza that will be a focal point for the north and south river walks.
north river walk
North River Walk
  • A fishing wharf, is located immediately south of the Northeast Corridor railroad bridge. This area will accommodate fishing and passive recreational activities.
  • The southern portion will be a landscaped esplanade with benches. The northern section has been designed with fishermen in mind.
shoreline mitigation
Shoreline Mitigation
  • NJDOT's Open Water Mitigation Project created a shallow water habitat along the eastern bank of the Delaware River in the vicinity of Duck Island. The habitat area is twice the size of the original habitat located at the foot of the tunnel.The enlarged shallow water marsh is incorporated as part of the Hamilton-Trenton Marsh and will provide additional habitat diversity for the approximately 234 species of birds found in this area.This work is in keeping with NJDOT's mission to build transportation projects in an environmentally responsible manner. It also satisfies the permit requirements set forth by the Army Corps of Engineers and the NJ Department of Environmental Protection for the construction for the Route 29 tunnel.
the roadway project
The Roadway Project
  • The NJ 29 project included construction of four 12ft-wide lanes (two lanes in each direction), 12ft wide shoulders and a concrete ('Jersey') barrier to separate opposing traffic flows.
  • The NJ Route 29 project was included as part of the 1998 'TEA-21' Federal transportation bill. The contractor's bid for the project was $71 million.
  • The entire project was completed in 20 months.
route 29 tunnel
Route 29 Tunnel
  • The design build contract was awarded to PKF mark III/NCI joint venture
  • DMJM+Harris designed a bonded post-tensioned solution
  • The contractor was able to increase the pours from 50’ to 100’ thus reducing the overall project schedule by 50% using mass concrete placement methods
  • Longitudinal PT was used in the tunnel base slab, walls and roof slab. Additional transverse PT was added to the roof slab to provide reinforcement for the 3’ soil backfill for a community park.
  • The multistrand PT system consisted of 3 strand tendons in the center wall, 12 strand tendons in the east wall and 17 strand tendons in the base slab. Larger, 31 strand tendons were used in the roof slab where the tunnel reached a maximum width of 110’. The tunnel west side was designed with equally spaced 3’ columns creating an open view of the Delaware river.
riverfront park
  • The engineering consulting firm Vollmer Associates, the NJDOT built a $15 million, 6.5-acre park atop the deck of the NJ 29 tunnel.
  • Completed in 2003, the park features trees, landscaping and an interpretive area highlighting the history of the South Trenton waterfront.
south river walk
South River Walk
  • A 6.5-acre urban park was constructed over the tunnel section of Route 29. The park offers a bicyclist and pedestrian walkway, lawn areas, pavilions, a children's playground, an historic interpretive area and an urban streetscape plan along Lamberton Street.
park design
Park Design
  • The park features
    • permanent historic exhibits composed of sculptural arches representing five centuries of Trenton area history,
    • a timeline of date stones,
    • informative bronze plaques and signs commemorating the history of the Trenton area.
  • The project involved complex, multi-faceted historical and archaeological issues, significant research, subsurface testing, data recovery and monitoring during construction.
safety operations emergency response

Underground Transportation Systems

Safety, Operations & Emergency Response


Harry A. Capers, Jr. PE

Office of Transportation Security

International Technology Scanning Program


National Cooperative

Highway Research Program

American Association of State

Highway and Transportation Officials

Federal Highway Administration

current us practice
National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards

NFPA 130 Standard for Fixed Guideway Transit and Passenger Rail Systems

NFPA 502 Standard for Road Tunnels, Bridges, and Other Limited Access Highways

No AASHTO Standards exist

Current US Practice
uts scan countries
UTS Scan Countries


September 23 – October 9, 2005

34 technologies of interest

9 for further consideration


Innovative design and emergency management

Used for both natural and man-made disasters

findings 1
Escape Route Signs that are Universal and Consistent – Visual, Audible, Tactile

Widespread uniformity promotes understanding.

In an incident, confusion is minimized.

Use of combined senses (visual, audible, tactile) increases effectiveness.

U.S - National Fire Protection Association codes should include human factors considerations.

Findings - 1
escape route and signage
Escape Routeand Signage

Universal and

Consistent Signs

in Mont Blanc Tunnel

findings 2
Guidelines for Existing and New Tunnels

Need AASHTO tunnel guidelines

Planning, design, construction, maintenance, inspection, and operations

Note: AASHTO Subcommittee on Bridges and Structures created Technical Committee for Tunnels, T-20

Findings - 2
t 20 technical committee on tunnels scope
Scope –

“This committee is concerned with all factors pertinent to the design and construction of highway tunnels and their components, including design, construction, inspection, maintenance, and security, including designing for and responding to manmade and natural hazards. Highway tunnels as recognized by this committee include covered roadways confined on both edges equal to or greater than ? feet in length along centerline of roadway regardless of type of structure or method of construction.”

T-20 Technical Committee on Tunnels - Scope
t 20 technical committee on tunnels responsibilities
Development and maintenance of design, inspection and construction specifications specifically related to highway tunnels.

Coordination with other AASHTO Committees as necessary on cross cut issues.

Deployment of and AASHTO approved Highway Tunnel Management System.

Identification of research needs and development, review of and recommend for committee consideration research problem statements related to highway tunnels.

Represent the SCOBS as necessary to other agencies on matters pertaining to highway tunnels.

T-20 Technical Committee on Tunnels - Responsibilities
findings 3
Tunnel Emergency Management Guidelines

- Human Factors

Behavior hard to predict during emergency.

People are their own first rescuers.

People must react correctly and quickly.

Guidelines must account for this human behavior.

Guidelines should be included in tunnel planning, design, and emergency response.

Findings - 3
findings 4
Education for Motorist Response to Tunnel Incidents

Self-rescue is best first response in tunnel incident.

It is important to react quickly and correctly.

Motorists are not clear on needed action.

Findings - 4
findings 5
Automatic Incident Detection Systems

& Intelligent Video

Automatically detects, tracks, and records incidents.*

Tells operator to observe event in question.

Allows operator to take appropriate action.

* This concept can also be applied to detect other activities and incidents in areas besides tunnels, from terrorist activities to accidents, vandalism and other crimes, fires, vehicle breakdowns, etc.

Findings - 5
findings 6
Design Criteria to Promote Optimal Driver/ User Performance and Response to Incidents

Designers - be aware of ways to minimize fire and traffic safety hazards

Evaluate materials and design details

Findings - 6
emergency alcoves shelters every 656 feet

A86 East


Uniform &

Consistent Signs

Emergencyalcoves &sheltersevery 656 feet



on Each




at each level

findings 7
One-Button Emergency Response & Automated Sensor Systems

To “Take action immediately!” the operator must initiate several actions simultaneously.

“Press one button”

Initiates several critical actions

Eliminates operator chance to omit important step or perform action out of order

Automated sensor systems are helpful in determining response, e.g., opacity sensors.

Findings - 7

Several actions are initiated

by moving a yellow line over

the area of a fire incident

findings 8
Risk-Management for Tunnel Safety Inspection & Maintenance

European use of risk-based methodologies for

Safety inspection time and frequency

Maintenance/rehabilitation scope and timing

Inspect less-critical or more-durable portions of system less frequently and concentrate inspections on more critical or fragile components.

Findings - 8
findings 9
Light-Emitting Diode (LED) Lighting for

Edge Delineation & Safe Vehicle Distance

Lights identify edge of roadway

Blue lights identify safe vehicle spacing

Blue lights are spaced among the edge delineation lights

More reliable than speed-based guidelines

Findings - 9

LED Lights for Edge Delineation and

Vehicle Spacing in Mont Blanc Tunnel