Pa. bridge expected to open next week after 4 1/2 years

September 27, 2011|By JENNIFER FITCH |
  • Crews place concrete arches along Wharf Road in Quincy Township, Pa., on Tuesday morning. The road has been closed for more than four years.
By Jennifer Fitch, Staff Writer

WAYNESBORO, Pa. — Concrete arches installed Tuesday on Wharf Road will allow the road to reopen next week after being closed for four and a half years.

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation contracted with Oldcastle Precast Inc. to deliver the con-span arch, PennDOT spokesman Mike Crochunis said.

"Four-plus years ago, heavy rains flooded the roadway and resulted in damage to the foundation of the original stone arch," Crochunis said.

Spring runoff in 2007 crested a nearby dam, prompting the road closure after the effects on the bridge were evaluated. PennDOT worked with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection to eliminate that dam and restore the stream.

"It's basically been restored to what we believe is the original path," Crochunis said.

Residents in the area are relieved to finally see work being done at the site west of Pa. 316, according to Quincy Township (Pa.) Supervisor Kerry Bumbaugh.

"With all the struggles and hassles they had with all the agencies, I think the bridge is coming along," he said.

PennDOT designed the project and assigned its own maintenance crew members to do most of the work, Crochunis said.

"It's not your average project," he said.

Workers dug down nine feet to reach rock to anchor the new structures due to the area's swampy conditions. Now, the creek flows through pipe under the road, he said.

The state created three ponds in the area to protect wetlands and species such as turtle and carp. Crochunis said the agencies involved hope those ponds can become education tools for school groups someday.

In 2007, PennDOT reported the bridge carries an average of 700 vehicles a day.

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