The Highland Park Interchange project in Pittsburgh had a dual objective: to alleviate traffic congestion and address safety concerns at the Route 28/Highland Park Bridge/Freeport Road Interchange. A key aspect of this endeavor involved the strategic installation of sound barriers featuring large steel beam columns. To ensure durability, these columns were galvanized and then painted, marrying functionality with aesthetic considerations. As part of the collaboration between PennDOT and the Office for Public Art, Pittsburgh-based artist Brian Peters was enlisted to design a unique sound barrier along SR 28. This artistic touch not only complemented the overall project but also contributed to the creation of a distinctive visual landscape.
"The final design was inspired by the water you find right next to the site, which is the Allegany River." - Brian Peters
Soundwalls play a crucial role in enhancing the quality of life for residents near highways. Beyond the reduction of traffic noise, they have the potential to increase property values and promote better health outcomes by minimizing exposure to high noise levels. These structures, designed with both functionality and aesthetics in mind, also ensure compliance with noise pollution regulations. Furthermore, the incorporation of soundwalls contributes to the preservation of natural sounds, creating an outdoor environment conducive to recreational activities and pedestrian enjoyment.
In the execution of the project, a deliberate choice was made to paint over the galvanized steel used in constructing the sound barriers. This decision not only enhanced the corrosion resistance of the structures but also aligned with the artistic vision of Brian Peters. The combination of galvanizing and painting was a strategic move by PennDOT, ensuring the longevity of the steel structures in diverse environmental conditions while maintaining visual harmony with the artist's designs. Not only did they paint the beams, but they also painted one side light grey and the other dark. The side facing the residential neighborhoods is dark to blend in, and the light grey faces the highway. These beams stand out and will maintain this shine for many years to come. This project is an outstanding example of galvanizing excellence!
Pittsburgh, PA United States
Aesthetics, Coating Durability, Corrosion Performance, Initial Cost, Life-Cycle Cost, Quality of HDG, Sustainability
All large and small beam columns, galvanized then painted.
Envirosafe - Painter
Young Galvanizing, Inc.
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