Conshohocken Road construction to begin

April 23, 2009 4:47:56 PM PDT
10,000 motorists use the stretch of Conshohocken Road between Ridge and Butler Pikes in Plymouth Township, but starting May 4, motorists may face traffic challenges because parts of the road will close for two years, while the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation rebuilds two bridges. The aging bridges that are flush with the road carry Conshohocken traffic over freight tracks that feed a steel mill.

"They're structurally deficient which means they need attention. They've been here over 80 years. They've lived their life expectancy and it's just time to replace them," PennDOT spokesman Charles Metzger said.

This $10.5-million bridge project is part of PennDOT's program to rehabilitate about 200 structurally deficient and obsolete bridges in southeastern Pennsylvania.

"If you don't rebuild bridges like that are structurally deficient, we could encounter maintenance problems where the bridge deck could fail, components of the bridge could fail. So that is a safety issue," Metzger said.

Two years of construction will create some traffic issues.

"When they did 202 that was a nightmare. We just got over one. It sounds like you're telling me we're going to be in another one," Bill Tompkins of Oreland, Pa. said.

"I live right up here and work up here so it's going to be a lot more difficult getting around," Carl Durante of Gulf Mill said.

Detours will divert through traffic onto Fayette street, which becomes Butler pike then to North Lane, then Ridge Pike and back to Conshohocken.

Local traffic will get, through, so people who live and work in the construction zone can get there.

"If people are able to get to their business and the bridges need to be repaired, then that's what they should do," John Ganter of Center City said.

In less than two weeks, the construction and associated detours will begin.

The construction will continue for 2 years until June 2011.

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