Over the bridge

Warren County bridge replacement wraps up soon

Times Observer file photo Before photo: The bridge crossing Mead Run prior to replacement earlier this year.

A statewide project that included replacement of seven Warren County bridges that were designated in poor condition is nearly complete with just one still under construction.

The bridge replacements were part of the Rapid Bridge Replacement Project originated by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation in 2013. The nearly $900 million statewide project is approaching completion with construction throughout the state anticipated to be complete in 2019.

One county bridge on Route 6 that crosses over Four Mile Run in Sheffield Township is scheduled to be completed some time this month. That project started on June 30.

The first county bridge replaced as part of the project is on Spring Creek Road (Route 77) where it crosses over Whitney Run. That bridge opened to traffic in Nov. 2016.

Four of the county bridges designated for replacement in the project opened to traffic in 2017. Those bridges are: Route 6 over Wintroth Run, Route 957 over Little Brokenstraw Creek, Mathews Run Road (Route 27) over Hazeltine Hollow Run and Babylon Hill Road (Route 127) over Gordon Run.

Photo courtesy of parapidbridges.com Pictured is the last of seven bridges in PennDOT’s Rapid Bridge Replacement Project. This before photo shoes the bridge that crosses Four Mile Run on Route 6 in Sheffield Township. It is expected to be completed sometime this month.

The most recent bridge completed is on Route 6 where it crosses over Mead Run. That bridge opened to traffic on Sept. 7, 2018.

Penndot’s Rapid Bridge replacement project involves replacement of 558 poor-condition bridges, with 511 completed and open to traffic in the state’s public-private partnership (P3) for bridges, according to PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards.

“This unique project has been a large undertaking for PennDOT and the private sector and has been a great complement to the investments we’re making across the state,” Richards said. “The majority of these bridges are in rural communities that would have faced long detours or traffic impacts if we had to restrict or close them, so we are very pleased to deliver this value in those communities.”

There are 41 bridges under construction in the project, with all construction anticipated to finish in 2019.

Due to this project and other PennDOT investments, since January 2015 there are 819 more state-maintained bridges in good condition, the number in poor condition has dropped by 1,044, and the number in fair condition has increased by 95. The number of state-owned bridges in poor condition has dropped to fewer than 3,000 from a high of more than 6,000 in 2008.

Photo courtesy of parapidbridges.com This after photo shows the most recent completed bridge on Route 6 that crosses Mead Run. This bridge opened to traffic on Sept. 7, 2018. The last of seven bridges replaced by PennDOT’s Rapid Bridge Replacement Project crosses Four Mile Run on Route 6 in Sheffield Township. It is expected to be completed sometime this month.

The Rapid Bridge Replacement Project originated in 2013, when PennDOT was challenged by an aging, poor-condition bridge inventory and limited funding and resources. The P3 approach allows PennDOT to complement its traditional bridge delivery program with a partnership effort to replace 558 of its poor-condition bridges while minimizing impact on motorists.

Tasked with delivering an $899 million design and construction contract, Plenary Walsh Keystone Partners is financing, designing, constructing, and will be maintaining the bridges for a 25-year period beyond completion. PennDOT will be responsible for routine maintenance such as snow plowing, debris removal, and incident first response.

More on P3 in Pennsylvania is available at www.P3.pa.gov or “Public-Private Partnerships” at www.penndot.gov. Information on the bridges and their status is at www.parapidbridges.com.