"It was a long road to open that long road," Ken McFadden, PE, said. Ken was Project Manager and Designer of US Route 202, Parkway, Section 721, which opened in 2012 after nearly 40 years in the making.
Ken began working on this project 14 years prior as a designer. Originally intended to be a multi-lane, median-divided expressway, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's 2004 budget shortfall for highway projects resulted in the stoppage of this project. Later, it was re-evaluated with the goal of enhancing mobility in the area, while remaining affordable and reflecting the context of the community.
Ken, this time as Urban's Project Manager, faced an accelerated schedule and fixed budget for the design, construction, right-of-way acquisition, utility relocation, environmental clearance, and other project costs. This led to the simultaneous design of many disciplines and almost constant evolution of the project in response to public and Pennsylvania Department of Transportation feedback.
The 8.4-mile-long Parkway is an excellent example of smart transportation principles, context-sensitive design, and cutting-edge stormwater best management practices. The project has received praise from state officials and the community since opening. The most rewarding part Ken says was being at the ribbon cutting and seeing the first wheels roll across the roadway. "There's no better feeling as a designer than getting to see the physical representation of your work."