Delays to come with bridge repairs

February 21, 2008 8:39:11 PM PST
The next phase of the repairs on the Schulkill Expressway is about two and a half weeks away, with the focus being a bridge that carries the expressway over the Schuylkill River.Beginning March 10th, a heavily used section of the expressway, that reaches a little more than a half a mile long, will undergo $24 million worth of reconstruction.

PennDOT says the work is critical. The 1700 foot long steel bridge over the river is structurally deficient. In 19 months, the dangerous corrosion will be gone. Though, the design of the 50-year-old structure will still be antiquated, PennDOT says it will be safe.

"There is no reason why a bridge of this configuration can't be safe; it's true, we wouldn't build it this way, today, but we feel it can serve safely for a number of years to come," Charles Davis of PennDOT said.

PennDOT expects the longest delays to come during nights and during twelve weekends. On those weekends, at least one lane will be closed for more than 48 hours.

They hope to schedule around traffic-generating events at the sports complex and heavy shore traffic. PennDOT is looking for help from traffic reporting services and the Internet to get the word out to drivers to find alternative routes.