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A portion of a new bridge was delivered to Longswamp Township on Tuesday morning, despite delays due to winter weather conditions the previous night.
The precast concrete arch bridge for the south side barrier wall, spanning about 60 feet by 30 feet, was delivered by truck and moved into place by crane, which was an all-day process.
The new bridge will have two lanes, replacing the former one-lane bridge on State Street by the Blue Orchid Inn.
“The purpose of this project is for the safety of the general public,” said project manager Brandon Dalia, inspector in charge for the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.
This new construction project removed the existing one-lane bridge to build a new two-lane bridge. The project also relocated the roadway to straighten it out, said Dalia.
“Now both lanes will have access to SR1010 and that will improve traffic.”
Longswamp Township Board of Supervisors Vice-Chair Steven Wyka was present at the site Tuesday morning, waiting for the bridge delivery.
He agreed that the new bridge improves traffic and safety. Drivers would need to wait their turn to cross the one-lane bridge.
“If you don’t get people that pay attention to stopping prior to someone else coming from the other direction, it could cause an accident,” said Wyka. With the new two-lane bridge, “You eliminate the stopping on both sides of the bridge so people just have that smooth traffic flow.”
He said this project has been in discussion for about 10 to 15 years and now has come to fruition.
Wyka said their goal was to eliminate the one-lane stop and go traffic and widen the roadway.
The construction project began in late November. The first project was moving the man-made stream to allow for the two-lane bridge.
The existing stream was in the middle of the roadway alignment so it had to be moved over to create the two-lane roadway.
“What you see here is a new stream that was relocated for the new roadway,” said Dalia. “In the stream are elements made for fish habitat.”
The stream bed is lined by quarry stone and other elements to promote fish habitat.
Dalia explained that the contractor used material from the existing stream and put it in the new stream, a process that took about two months.
“It should have no impact to wildlife, it should improve the wildlife, that was the goal of the stream relocation, to improve fish wildlife for the stream,” he said. “All construction projects believe that environmental issues should be taken care of and it’s our job to make sure everything is very environmentally proficient.”
When asked about runoff or flooding issues, Dalia said that the way the bridge and new roadway is being put, it should eliminate flooding issues.
For erosion prevention, there are temporary fences for erosion control. Eventually, when the project is finished, landscaping will provide for erosion control, said Dalia.
The bridge project is expected to be complete in June.