Traffic over the Swatara Creek on the Pennsylvania Turnpike is being shifted to the right lanes in each direction. Project Manager Larry Frisbee said the traffic shift will allow crews to begin dismantling the old bridge structures this winter.
Those old structures will be cut in pieces and lifted out, said Frisbee.
The contractor says it “is anticipating implementing a detour of Vine St. (SR 2003) in the coming weeks. The detour will entail several separate closures during both the day and night periods. (The contractor) anticipates installing the detour in the next 2-4 weeks.
Please be aware of the construction signage that will indicate the specific detour dates 2 weeks prior to the intended closure dates and times. Each detour is allowed for 5-6 hour periods at a time."
Once the old structures are torn down, they will be replaced by a new, bridge that will tie into the two new bridges that are being built on either side of the existing bridge. Eventually all three will tie together to form a roadway wide enough for six, 12-foot wide travel lanes with 12-foot shoulders on both sides and a 26-foot median.
The $47.65 million project is expected to be completed in the middle of next year.
Turnpike Bridge project right on schedule
Winter weather has done nothing to slow down the pace of work on the new bridge carrying the Pennsylvania Turnpike across Vine Street, the M&H Railroad, and the Swatara Creek.
“We’re right on schedule,” says project manager Larry J. Frisbee. “Our plans call for a July 1, 2016 completion and we expect to meet that.”
Plans call for two new two-lane structures to be built on either side of the existing bridge. Once they are complete, traffic will be switched to those lanes to allow crews to tear down the current bridge and replace it with structures that eventually will be tied into the new outside lanes. When finished, the new bridge will be wide enough for six, 12-foot wide travel lanes with 12-foot shoulders on both sides and a 26-foot median.
While the new bridge will be wide enough for three lanes in each direction, only two will be used for now. The third lane in either direction will be marked as shoulders until a future, as yet unscheduled, project widens the Turnpike between the Harrisburg East and Lebanon-Lancaster exits.
Also included in the project are new sound barriers between mileposts 250.2 and 250.6, west of the Vine Street overpass. Frisbee says the support columns for those barriers are already completed along the westbound lanes and will soon be in place along the eastbound lanes. Sound absorbing panels will slide between the supports.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, VISIT THE TURNPIKE COMMISSION'S PROJECT SITE