PA Turnpike to Replace Bridge Spans in Accelerated Timeframe
HARRISBURG, PA (Aug. 20, 2019) — The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission is scheduled to replace two bridges in September — one in Lehigh County in early September, and the other in Cumberland County over the last two weekends in the month — using a proven engineering technique that allows workers to replace a bridge within a few days rather than having the public experience a year or more of construction and traffic delays.
“Accelerated Bridge Construction (ABC) is a technique that drastically decreases the traffic impact to the traveling public while reducing worker exposure in construction zones,” said Wally Wimer, PA Turnpike Senior Bridge Engineer. “It also eliminates the need for months or years of shoulder closures, single-lane traffic patterns and other restrictions for motorists. We compress the traffic control into one weekend.”
While there are many benefits to the ABC technique, Wimer cautions motorists that the bridge replacements could create significant, regional travel delays and encourages motorists to consider alternative routes, travel during off-peak hours or avoid the area altogether during the weekend closures as the detours add substantial travel time.
“Motorists traveling during these weekends could face lengthy detours in some areas that will add to their travel times,” said Wimer. “As a result, we strongly urge customers to steer clear of these areas during the detour weekends or build in plenty of extra travel time.”
The authorized detour routes will be clearly marked for both through traffic and local traffic. Motorists should pay close attention while driving the detour, looking for the orange-and-black directional signs.
The PA Turnpike’s September closures are scheduled as follows:
For the last several months, crews have been constructing the new bridge segments near the existing bridges. When the highway section is closed, workers will demolish the existing bridges and replace them with the new spans.
The PA Turnpike has more than 800 bridges on its system which are regularly inspected to ensure their safety and integrity. These two bridges were slated to be replaced due to their age.
For more details and maps of the detours visit www.paturnpike.com/ABC.
|CONTACT:||Rosanne Placey, 717-831-7507
Kathleen Walter, 610-313-6383
Carl DeFebo, 717-831-7176