The Breinigsville Park West Pedestrian Bridge project involved the construction of a new bridge as part of a recreational pathway through the Breinigsville Park located in Upper Macungie Township in Lehigh County, Pennsylvania. Upper Macungie Township received a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to construct a pedestrian bridge across the Schaefer Run to connect old railway beds for access from the surrounding neighborhoods to the existing park. The prefabricated bridge is a 70’ long free span CONTECH Capstone Style Continental Truss bridge and was designed to convey the entire 100-year flood under the structure with no increase in elevation.
To minimize the impact to the environment, the bridge was constructed on old existing rail beds that were part of the Allentown Railroad. This rail line was proposed in the 1850’s to connect the Central Railroad of New Jersey at Allentown with the Pennsylvania Railroad‘s main line across the Allegheny Mountains. Though grading was almost entirely finished, the project was halted by the Panic of 1857 and as a result, track, ballast and railroad ties were never laid on most of the line. Use of the abandoned rail beds allowed the bridge to be set in place without disturbance to the creek.