4 months after old one blown up, new bridge opens Friday in Russell

Times Observer photo by Josh Cotton The Liberty Street bridge over the Conewango Creek in Pine Grove Township has re-opened to traffic amid a complete replacement.

Four months after the prior version was blown into the Conewango Creek, the new bridge over Liberty Street in Russell is now open for traffic.

Though the road is open, work isn’t quite complete on the overall project, located about one-half-mile east of the intersection with Route 62 and about the same distance west from Fox Hill Road.

PennDOT described the new bridge as a “two-span, 220 foot long concrete bridge” that “replaced a deteriorating steel truss bridge that was built in 1937 and was classified as structurally deficient.

“Work also included milling and paving roadway approaches, concrete approach slabs and updated drainage, curb ramps, guiderail, signs and pavement parking,” a PennDOT release stated. “The contractor is the L.C. Whitford Company, Inc., of Wellsville, NY. The contract cost is $2,938,887, which is being paid entirely with state funds.”

Work started in mid-May and the existing bridge was demolished on June 13 via 22 pounds of powder in shape charges placed at key points and detonated simultaneously, bringing the bridge down in 12 pieces.

A detour utilized Cider Mill Hill Road, Route 62 and Cable Hollow Road until the bridge was opened on Friday.

Roughly 1,550 vehicles use the bridge each day.