Urban is pleased to announce that the Rail Park was recognized with the Outstanding Engineering Achievement award at the Pennsylvania Society of Professional Engineers Philadelphia Chapter’s (PSPE Philly) annual Outstanding Engineering Achievement Competition event. The award was the highest level winner of the competition, which recognizes the region's best projects designed, erected, and manufactured in 2018.
“It is an honor for us at Urban to be recognized for our engineering achievement on this project,” said Angelo Waters, PE, LEED AP, Urban’s project manager for the Rail Park. “We are very proud of the hard work of our staff and all who contributed to this project.”
Mr. Waters and Urban Bridge Engineer Andrew Van Schooneveld, PE, presented on the engineering work that went into the Rail Park to the judging panel. The Rail Park is a $10.8 million project that has transformed a blighted section of the former Reading Railroad Viaduct in Philadelphia into an elevated park with walking paths, landscaping, lighting, swinging benches, and expansive city views. The park is a much needed green amenity to Center City’s northern edge and is the result of a successful collaboration between Urban Engineers, Center City District, the Friends of the Rail Park, the City of Philadelphia, SEPTA, Studio Bryan Hanes, A.P. Construction, and many others. The park’s design was chosen to reflect the neighborhood’s industrial roots and repurpose the historic elements of the rail structure wherever possible.
A wide path through the park is edged with native canopy trees and plantings designed to provide air quality benefits and manage stormwater runoff. It is interspersed with a variety of public spaces, benches, wooden swings, and walkways. The Rail Park’s Phase 1 is a proof-of-concept that will be used to advance the next phase of the project.
PSPE Philly was born in 1934, in the depths of the great depression, when a group of engineers met at The Engineers' Club of Philadelphia and decided to form a group that was dedicated to maintaining the professional integrity of the engineering profession. At the same time in New York and four other cities, similar groups formed. These groups decided to combine and form a larger organization, which was to become the National Society of Professional Engineers. The Philadelphia chapter, the founding chapter, grew to over a thousand members and then began to split into smaller county-based chapters.