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Its Finally Happening
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer

Work to replace Main St. Bridge in Pennsburg begins Monday  

          After more than 20 years of meetings, discussion and delay, the work to replace the bridge on Route 29 in Pennsburg is prepared to commence. On Monday, crews will begin the process by working to move multiple utilities. Eventually, they will remove the superstructure and the upper portion of the existing 94-year-old bridge near the borough's Red Hill border over the former abandoned Reading Railroad.

            The work will eliminate the girder beams at the edge of the travel lanes and improve safety along the corridor, according to information provided by Pennsylvania Department of Transportation spokesperson Robyn Briggs.

            H & K Group, a Skippack company, has been contracted to complete the work, which is expected to take approximately eight months. PennDOT is fully funding the project at a cost of $3.239 million.

            Completion is expected by the end of October. Route 29 will be closed no later than Feb. 13, 2023 and reopen by Oct. 16, 2023.

            A detour using only state-owned roads will be implemented, according to information presented by PennDOT officials during a preconstruction meeting held last week.

            Between Monday and the closure of Main Street between 8th and 11th streets, temporary traffic signals will be placed at 8th Street and Montgomery Avenue and 11th Street and Montgomery Avenue.

            Commuters will continue to have access to local businesses along the stretch, according to Krys Johnson, a community relations coordinator with PennDOT. Eight speed bumps will be implemented to help control traffic at locations to be determined.

            Prior to demolition, crews will coordinate with nine utility companies for the relocation of their facilities. The spokesperson identified those entities as Comcast Cable Communications, PECO Energy Company (natural gas), Verizon Pennsylvania LLC, PPL Electric Utilities Corporation, XO Communications Services, LLC, and Crown Castle. Briggs identified the Upper Montgomery Joint Authority, the Upper Hanover Authority, and the Red Hill Water Authority as underground.

            Additionally, the contractor will submit various designs for construction items, such as a temporary pedestrian walkway and detour. Temporary sidewalks will be installed to allow students to walk to the Upper Perkiomen middle school and high school.

            The reconstructed road will realign the vertical profile to improve sight distance and reduce rear-end-type crashes, according to information provided by Briggs. It states that the project includes the construction of sidewalks along both sides of the roadway to improve pedestrian access and the installation of upgraded signage, guide rails, and pavement markings.

            The project has been on Pennsburg council's radar for several years. A story in the Nov. 28, 2002 edition of the Town and Country newspaper estimated that removal of the bridge, then slated to begin in June 2005, when school ended, would conclude before the start of the following school year.

            Briggs wrote that she had no information on the proposed project length. Projects can get pushed back for many reasons, such as including utility coordination, local stakeholder involvement, right of way establishment and other reasons, according to the spokesperson.  "PennDOT is excited that this project is finally underway," she wrote in a message received on Dec. 8.






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