PennDOT’s Rapid Bridge Replacement Project is down to one bridge in Lancaster County following Monday’s reopening of the new span carrying Route 30 traffic over Eshleman Run in Paradise Township.
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation project to replace 558 structurally deficient bridges statewide began in 2016 and is scheduled to be completed this year. The total cost of the project is $899 million.
A public-private partnership between PennDOT and Plenary Walsh Keystone Partners have replaced 29 county bridges since summer 2016.
The final county bridge that needs to be replaced carries Columbia Avenue (Route 462) over Little Conestoga Creek in East Hempfield Township. The span is on track to be replaced in May.
All bridge replacements in the county were initially set for completion by the end of 2018; however, extensive flooding last summer altered timelines.
“A common thread for a majority of the delayed projects in 2018 (was) the record wet summer and fall that had a negative impact on construction,” Plenary Walsh spokesman Rory McGlasson said earlier this month.
As of last month, 87 bridges — or about 12 percent of 727 state bridges across Lancaster County — were structurally deficient. That’s down from 18 percent before the start of the project in April 2016.
According to PennDOT, motorists may notice a slight bump as they drive across the newly opened Eshleman Run bridge. The state agency said that will change after a polyester polymer concrete overlay is applied to the bridge's deck.
The material is designed to protect the deck from wear and tear resulting from Pennsylvania’s harsh winters and reduce maintenance costs, PennDOT said.