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PennDOT shuts down bridge on Wharf Road for safett concerns

March 15, 2007|by DON AINES

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Concerns about the effects the spring runoff could have on its foundation and approaches prompted the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation to close the Wharf Road bridge Wednesday morning.

"Our county bridge crew determined it's better safe than sorry," Department spokesman Michael Crochunis said of closing the bridge just west of Pa. 316 in Quincy Township. The stone foundation of the one-lane steel deck bridge has been weakened in the past by heavy runoff and a more thorough inspection will be done by PennDOT officials to ensure it is safe, he said.

If the bridge is deemed safe, it could reopen late this week or early next week, Crochunis said. If repairs are needed, Crochunis said it will have to be determined whether a PennDOT bridge crew can perform the work or if a contractor will be needed.

The road approaches to the bridge could also have been softened by the runoff, and could require work, he said.

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A signed detour will direct motorists around the closure to either Pa. 16 or Pa. 316, according to a PennDOT news release. The bridge carries an average of about 700 vehicles a day.

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