Bridge project is on the beam

| 29 Sep 2011 | 08:21

A Lancaster steel construction firm began delivering the massive steel beams for the new Shohola interstate bridge last Tuesday. No surprise there, except that PennDOT announced the day before that the steel would begin arriving next Monday, March 27. PennDOT spokewoman Karen Dussinger said the early arrival may have involved weather related restrictions in the contractors permit. Anyway, the surprise arrival was absent any traffic control and left motorists dodging trucks bearing beams up to 120’ in length. Flagmen were on hand when a second load arrived Wednesday. The big trucks also prompted some motorist issues enroute along state Route 402 and US Route 6 Tuesday. “Apparently it was drivers’ frustrations at having been behind these trucks for who knows how long that led them to begin to pass the trucks every which way. The contractor did respond with signal people and other controls, notifying police,” Dussinger reported. Originally scheduled for completion in 2004, the project has been delayed by flooding, redesign issues and a lengthy archaeological study. Once budgeted at $5 million, it is now pegged at $9.4 million and scheduled for completion in October. The new bridge will be 70 feet longer, at 812 feet; and more than twice as wide, with 40 feet for roadway and shoulders, plus an eight-foot-wide sidewalk. Early season river users are advised that the Delaware River will also be closed to river traffic for a short time on Friday, March 31 and Monday, April 3.(Photos by David Hulse)