Philadelphia Girls Design a Bridge for Pedestrians

philly TUThe girls of WTS Philadelphia’s Transportation YOU program participated in an event that centered around the Schuylkill River Trail with Schuylkill River Development Corporation (SRDC) . The workshop and tour kicked-off at Jacobs Engineering offices with an overview of the Schuylkill River Trail presented by SRDC staff Danielle Gray and Lane Fike. The students developed a concept and design for a pedestrian/bicycle bridge over the CSX rail line that runs parallel to the Schuylkill River at the workshop. They presented their designs to the group, and SRDC presented the actual design and bridge that was selected for construction.

After the workshop and lunch, the students took a walking tour south along the Schuylkill River Trail from Walnut Street down to South Street, including a tour of the new 2,000-foot long boardwalk. The students embraced the opportunity to learn about environmental, structural, and community concerns that need to be taken into consideration when designing the boardwalk. They had discussions about the concrete structure’s design and construction, including issues such as appropriate footing depths in bedrock, and the impacts to structure from flooding during storms, tides, and river debris. They were fascinated that even the solar-powered LED lights were designed to continue operating if submerged during flood events. The tour ended at the Schuylkill River Park, with a stroll over the pedestrian bridge to compare the actual design with the designs the girls developed during the morning workshop.


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