Award of Merit: Historic Category
Rehabilitation of the Corning Centerway Arch Bridge
Corning, New York
Submitted by Fisher Associates
City of Corning, Inc.
Fisher Associates, PE, LS, LA, PC
New York, LLC
The Centerway Arch Bridge is a 40 ft (12 m) wide, seven-span, 720 ft (220 m) long, reinforced-concrete-filled arch bridge located in Corning, NY. The bridge served as a pedestrian and vehicular crossing of the Chemung River until 1989, when a new steel multi-girder structure was constructed adjacent to the Centerway Bridge with the intent to demolish the deteriorated arch bridge. However, as a result of the community’s outcry to preserve it, the City assumed ownership of the structure and converted it for use by pedestrians, bicycles and, for a time, a local trolley service. Twenty years later, the City again embarked on a project to save the structure and extend the life of the bridge another 25 years without major maintenance.
An in-depth inspection and concrete testing program was performed, including a service life assessment and cost/constructibility evaluation of several restoration/rehabilitation alternatives for various bridge components. It was determined that alkali-silica reaction (ASR) had caused severe deterioration of the concrete in the deck and spandrel walls, and to a lesser extent deterioration of the arches.
The design process included extensive coordination with the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) to ensure that all of the elements were in-line with the historic value of the structure. The spandrel wall façade was reconstructed and repairs were performed to piers, abutments, and arches.
Because the structure was a filled arch, it was determined that providing live green space with benches, space for exhibits, interpretive signage, and features that complemented the history, culture, and community of Corning would best satisfy the goals and objectives of the City. New period lighting was installed and grass areas, low-level landscaping, space for walking, rollerblading, skateboarding, bicycles, and service vehicles were all designed into the new deck space.