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Weather could postpone bridge work

March 24, 2009|By JENNIFER FITCH

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. -- Preparation work to replace five bridges north of Chambersburg was scheduled to begin Tuesday night, but chilly weather and the threat of rain delayed the efforts.

The $23 million project will replace four bridges on Interstate 81 and one overhead bridge, according to a Pennsylvania Department of Transportation news release.

Low temperatures and rain cause asphalt problems, PennDOT spokesman Michael Crochunis said.

The first step in the project will be establishing an additional navigable lane for traffic on the highway, Crochunis said. That could create single-lane traffic restrictions overnight initially, he said.

"Through the length of the (actual construction) project, there will be two lanes of travel," he said.

The construction project will replace the northbound and southbound I-81 bridges over the Conococheague Creek, remove the northbound and southbound bridges over an abandoned railroad just south of Conococheague Creek, and repair the bridge that carries Woodstock Road over I-81, the news release stated.

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All five bridges are in Greene Township between exit 17 (Walker Road) and exit 20 (Pa. 997/Scotland).

PennDOT reported that nearly 54,000 vehicles cross the affected area each day, with tractor-trailers comprising about 30 percent of that traffic volume.

The state agency contracted with Kinsley Construction Inc. of York, Pa., for the project. All five bridges were built in 1963 when I-81 was originally constructed in Franklin County, the news release stated.

The two I-81 bridges over the abandoned railroad line will be removed, the area will be built up with fill material and then the roadway will be built to replace the bridges.

The overall project is scheduled for completion by early October 2010, the news release stated.

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