Birdsboro and Exeter bridges open to traffic

Photo by John Strickler The new Route 345 bridge in Birdboro opened to traffic and the old crumbling bridge is permanently closed until demolition. Motorists made their way smoothly onto the new structure as work continues in the area near Rt. 724.
The new Route 345 bridge in Birdboro opened to traffic and the old crumbling bridge is permanently closed until demolition. Motorists made their way smoothly onto the new structure as work continues in the area near Rt. 724.

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) announced today two new PA 345 bridges, one over the Schuylkill River and one over Norfolk Southern Rail Road, in Birdsboro Borough and Exeter Township, Berks County are open. Traffic was shifted from the old structurally deficient PA 345 Bridge over the Schuylkill River and Norfolk Southern Rail Road to the two new bridges earlier today.

A project began in August 2012 to replace the PA 345 Bridge with two new bridges. Work will continue to demolish the old bridge; upgrade traffic signals at the intersections of West Main and Furnace streets and East Main and Furnace streets; and install new signs and pavement markings. All work is expected to be complete by November 2015.

J.D. Eckman, Inc. of Atglen, Pa. is the general contractor on the $14,547,827 project.

The old PA 345 Bridge was built in 1927 and posted with a 15 ton weight restriction. It is a 1,123 feet long, 39 feet wide, 19-span concrete arch bridge. The new PA 345 Bridge over the Schuylkill River is a 536 feet long, 56 and a half feet wide, concrete bulb-tee beam bridge. The new PA 345 Bridge over the Norfolk Southern Rail Road is a 154 feet long, 44 and a half feet wide, concrete bulb-tee beam bridge. The new bridges will have no posted weight restrictions. The average daily traffic volume on this section of PA 345 is 6,189 vehicles.

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From PennDOT