South Valley Parkway

PennDOT District 4-0 | Luzerne County, PA

AEG provided a variety of services in support of the South Valley Parkway project in Luzerne County for PennDOT District 4-0. AEG provided geotechnical design and construction consultation services including recommendations with regard to rock cut buttressing, rock buttress embankment construction, rockfall barrier evaluation, and rock cut slope stability in areas of rock blasting. Major activities in progress include blasting for roadway excavation, bridge construction, and construction of the treatment area for acid bearing rock waste materials.

The South Valley Parkway (SVP) is being constructed to alleviate traffic congestion and improve traffic safety along a stretch of SR 2008. The project includes the construction of a new four-lane highway with one new split diamond interchange, two bridges, and one culvert. The roadway design requires significant cuts into the underlying bedrock and rock blasting is required. Due to the presence of coal and black (carbonaceous) shale, the Llewellyn Formation is known to contain the sulfide-bearing mineral pyrite and therefore represented a potential source of acid rock drainage (ARD). ARD can be formed from within a rock cut and from rock waste that has been placed as fill elsewhere. The potential for ARD requires careful consideration in design and construction. Roadway design and construction considered several other mining-related features, including abandoned and reclaimed surface mines, proximity to mine shafts, and potentially unsuitable mine refuse materials.

In support of AEG’s geotechnical design and construction consultation services, environmental services were conducted including Phase II and III Environmental Site Assessments. A Health and Safety Plan/Field Sampling Plan was developed for implementing a Phase III Environmental Site Assessment.

The Phase III ESA was performed for two potential waste sites located within the project study area where the results of previous investigations completed within the project study area by others identified underground storage tanks (USTs) or landfill waste materials that may be potentially encountered during construction activities. As part of Phase III ESA activities, AEG used a photo ionization detector (PID) to monitor the ambient air of on-site workers for the presence of total volatile organic vapors. In addition to PID readings, AEG used a multi-gas meter to monitor the ambient air for landfill gas parameters, including carbon monoxide, methane, and hydrogen sulfide.