Thursday, May 26, 2022

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Marlborough Township Bridge Shut Down Again
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer
2021-12-29

            A bridge in Marlborough Township, damaged in September and closed for more than three straight months, remained open for only 15 days in December before being closed again last week.

            The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation closed the Swamp Creek Road Bridge for the second time in four months after the disclosure of an undermined pier during an underwater bridge inspection.

            Preliminary notes from a Sept. 17 inspection of the bridge, which is over the Unami Creek, indicated that the pier was undermined as well as the near abutment, according to Brad Rudolph, a deputy communications director with the agency. He wrote that PennDOT officials received the formal underwater inspection report Dec. 21, and the bridge was closed the following day.

            Rudolph identified a likely, slight delay in assembling the report due to the extremely high volume of inspections being performed immediately following Tropical Storm Ida.

            Work to repair the three-span stone masonry arch bridge – which was initially reopened Dec. 7 – is expected to begin in early January, according to a news release from the agency. It states that the roadway will remain closed for a few weeks until underpinning work is performed to prevent future scouring.

            "As soon as PennDOT recognized the need for additional repairs...we acted on behalf of public safety and closed the bridge as a precaution to begin additional repair work on the pier and abutment," Rudolph wrote in a Dec. 27 email message. "The bridge will remain closed until the work is completed."

            The agency initially closed the bridge Sept. 2 in the interest of public safety due to the approach roadway washing out during the storm, according to the message. It states that a scope of work was then developed for a project to reopen the bridge to traffic, which included repair of the stone-masonry arch bridge and the approach pavement.

            PennDOT engineers inspected the bridge in two parts, according to the message from Rudolph. It states that during the initial inspection Sept. 4, they could only verify the condition of the approach roadway and pier one upstream nose – all elements above water – since the depths were too high. The agency's design consultant began to prepare the scope of work for repairs based on those findings.


 

 

 

 

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