New Bridge Completed, First Step Toward Campus Bike Path

By Purnell T. Cropper | January 25, 2011

By Sarah R. Schwartz ’10

Arcadia’s new bridge, located on the base of the lower parking lot off Church Road, serves as a conduit between Arcadia University and Cheltenham Township. It also marks a first step toward a possible bike and jogging path on campus, explains Tom Macchi, Associate Vice President of Facilities and Capital Planning.

“Several years ago the University purchased the Konami Property, which is located on the corner of Church and Waverly roads,” says Macchi. “As it is difficult to access the property from our campus due to a tight pedestrian lane on Church Road at the small stone bridge, we recognized that we needed our own bridge. And after obtaining the proper approval, we set about building it.

“In summer 2010, the facilities staff began clearing out the invasive species along the brook line adjacent to ‘the pit’ parking lot to create a park area, which would be adjacent to the proposed bridge location. Running concurrently to this project was the behind-the-scenes work being performed to actually create the environment which would allow for the bridge placement as well as the bridge design itself.”

Engineering firm, Gilmore & Associates, Inc., created the plan and assisted the University in obtaining construction clearance across a waterway from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. Simultaneously, University officials and local Architect Harold Lichtman entered into discussions with Cheltenham Township for local approvals. When the presentations and submittals were reviewed and approved by Cheltenham Township, the project created an unusual amount of excitement that generated an additional benefit to the larger community. Now, Cheltenham Township is a candidate to receive a $10,000 grant to fund a connector bike pathway from the Waverly Road/Church Road bike lane through the woods and onto Arcadia’s campus, a win-win for the University and Cheltenham.

“Delran Construction coordinated the fabrication of the steel bridge with Contec and delivery and setting of the bridge, while Franklin Construction dug the abutments on both sides of the brook,” says Macchi. “When the abutments were completed, the bridge arrived a week later on the back of a tractor-trailer. A crane was brought to campus, and the entire bridge was lifted from the ‘low boy trailer’ and set on the abutments.  Bolts were fastened down, and the bridge installation was complete. Pending a bit better weather, the approach ramps will be installed along with the lighted bike path through the woods.

“This is a great addition to Arcadia and serves as the first step in creating a longer bike and jogging pathway through and around the Campus,” Macchi says.