Monthly Technical Presentation and Dinner Meeting

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Schuylkill River Trail Extension: Locust St. to South St. - 1.0 PDH

Valley Forge Casino Resort (formerly Radisson)
1160 First Avenue, King of Prussia, PA 19406

Meeting Area Location:  Laurel Ballroom on the casino side of the resort (use casino entrance for easiest access to ballroom).

members $45; non-members $50; students $15

The Schuylkill River Trail has been a tremendous success as evidenced by the volume of users since the portion of the trail downstream from the Art Museum, branded as Schuylkill Banks, was opened in 2000. However the trail ended at Locust Street where the distance between the river and CSX railroad property was inadequate to allow continuation.
Extending the trail to South Street was accomplished with a boardwalk structure that extends into the river, meanders vertically and laterally along, and comes back to land at the South Street Bridge stair tower. The structure length of 2,000 feet creates a wonderful experience of floating above the river while providing breathtaking vistas of the city skyline, University of Pennsylvania athletic facilities and the recently reconstructed South Street Bridge.

Significant engineering expertise was required to provide a structure that balanced the desire for users to emotionally connect with the river with the need for a low maintenance facility that would withstand the unique river forces. The decision to set the bottom of superstructure only slightly above normal high tide elevation meant that resistance to buoyancy, ice forces and debris impact was required.

The result was a structure made exclusively of concrete. All piers and decks are cast-in-place reinforced concrete while the beams are all precast, prestressed concrete bulb tee type I-beams. Using precast beams eliminated costly formwork and falsework. They also provided the durability, strength and weight needed to resist nature’s forces.

Solar powered lights, nautical theme railings, widened deck overlooks with benches and a deck finish that presents an appearance of a wooden boardwalk completes the aura of this waterway structure. 


Kevin Sear, PE
Kevin Sear, PE has been a professional engineer for 36 years. He graduated from Villanova University in 1975 with a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering. His 40 years of structural design experience began with buildings and then transitioned into highway bridges. His employers range from municipal to private and from small to his current employer with almost 100,000 employees. Clients on the projects he designed or managed include private developers, municipalities, multi-national corporations and state highway departments and commissions. His more notable local projects include the pedestrian trail along the Manayunk Canal, the Transportation Center and Wiggins Park Harbor in Camden, the Center City Commuter Connection Tunnel in Philadelphia, Section 300 & 400 of the Blue Route, the 76/202/422 interchange in King of Prussia, widening of the PA Turnpike from Valley Forge to Norristown, and the Schuylkill River Trail Extension from Locust Street to South Street which is his presentation this month.

He is currently the Deputy Structural Engineering Department Manager at the AECOM Conshohocken office and is responsible for a staff of 25 engineers and technicians. 

Meeting schedule:
5:30 pm - 6:30 pm  Social and Registration
6:30 pm - 7:15 pm  Dinner (chicken/fish/vegetarian) - please note preference in response 
7:15 pm - 8:30 pm  Program

To register (REQUIRED):
Register Here, or you may email James Deeney <> or call
(610) 650-8101 by the Friday before the meeting (10/16/2015).  

Mail check payable to SEI-Phila Chapter (or bring it to the meeting) to:
SEI Treasurer Mr. Joe Fazio c/o HNTB
1650 Arch Street, Suite 1700
Philadelphia, PA 19103

**Payment must be made for the cost of dinner if you make a reservation but are not able to attend, since we must pay this cost to the caterer.**