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Construction on Three Sumneytown Pike Bridges to Begin in 2019
Written by Abigail Clifford, Correspondent

            The Wolf Administration announced on Thursday, December 13, that construction will begin in May 2019 to replace the three bridges carrying Route 63 over the Unami Creek, Ridge Valley Creek and the East Branch of the Perkiomen Creek in Upper Salford and Marlborough Township.

Sumneytown Pike (Route 63) bridge over the Unami Creek is one of three bridges

schedule to be replaced in 2019.

            Route 63 of the Unami Creek and Ridge Valley Creek bridges location are planned to be closed and detoured beginning in May 2019. Work will be completed at both bridges simultaneously to minimize the impact on traffic.

            The bridge over the East Branch of the Perkiomen Creek, near Shady Lane and Long Mill Road, will remain open during construction and will be built in stages in half-width construction. Motorists will be allowed through by one-lane traffic controlled by a traffic light.

            "This project is another example of PennDOT's commitment to improving our transportation network and reducing the large backlog of poor condition bridges statewide," stated Governor Tom Wolf.

            Due to the bridge closures, drivers are advised to allow extra time when traveling through the work area due to possible backups or delays. There will be two designated detours for trucks and cars during the construction period.

            Truck drivers can expect a 14.9 mile detour due to the bridge closures. Trucks will be detoured to Route 29 South from Green Lane Borough to Route 73 in Schwenksville Borough. Then drivers will be directed east on Route 73 to Route 113 north in Skippack Village. Finally, trucks will take Route 113 North back to Route 63.

            Cars will have a 5.2 mile detour due to the closures. The detour will start with Route 29 South from Green Lane Borough, then East to Perkiomenville Road and Old Sumneytown Pike, back to Route 63.

            "We likely will see increased traffic on Crusher and Hoppenville Roads as drivers detour the bridge construction," stated Billy Hurst, Vice Chairperson of the Marlborough Township Board of Supervisors, "Our biggest concern is for the businesses on Main Street in Sumneytown and how it will negatively affect them."

            Residents of Zepp, Hill and Rostkowski Roads will need to travel the windy, narrow paths of Hill, Payne and Knuckles Road due to the two bridge closures at the bottom of Zepp Road. Access to Sumneytown Pike by Zepp Road will be unavailable during the construction time period.

            According to Montgomery County's Section Chief in Transportation Planning Matthew Edmond, the decision to close Route 63, rather than allowing intermittent delays for traffic to repair the bridges, will allow construction to finish sooner.

            Pre-construction work of tree clearing operations for the project began this week between Long Mill Road and Shady Lane. Weekday lane closures were expected from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. for the tree removal process.

            H & K Group, Inc., of Skippack, PA is the general contractor on the $9,565,527 project which is financed with 80 percent federal and 20 percent state funds. All scheduled activities are weather dependent and are subject to change.

            The entire project is projected to be completed in spring of 2021.





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