LEWISTOWN - It is well documented that Pennsylvania leads the nation in the amount of "structurally deficient" bridges.
"A structurally deficient bridge means the bridge has deterioration to one or more of its major components. Although deterioration is present, a structurally deficient bridge is safe," according to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.
One of those structurally deficient bridges is the Port Royal bridge, which was built in 1937 and spans the Juniata River on state Route 75.
This bridge, which spans the Juniata River on state Route 75, will be repaired with funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The Port Royal bridge was recently labeled as ‘structurally deficient.’
Sentinel photo by BRADLEY KREITZER
PennDOT Secretary Allen Biehler recently unveiled a list of projects that would be funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and the Port Royal bridge was on that list. A total of $1.026 billion will go to highway and bridge projects in Pennsylvania. The Port Royal bridge is the only one currently listed in the Juniata Valley that will be funded with stimulus money.
According to PennDOT documents, the bridge has a sufficiency rating of 36 out of 100, making it eligible for federal funds. The sufficiency rating of a bridge is calculated based on a bridge's ability to meet the traffic demands and safety needs for the route it carries. Factors included in the calculation are the structure's adequacy and safety, which accounts for 55 percent of the score and is based on inspection data. The structure's serviceability and functional obsolescence accounts for 30 percent of the score and is based on the ability of the bridge to meet current traffic conditions. Lastly, 15 percent of the score is based on how essential the bridge is for public use.
PennDOT spokeswoman Marla Fannin said the design process for the estimated $4 million Port Royal bridge rehabilitation project has already been completed. The next stage of the process is bid letting, which begins on May 21.
"It's typically a two-month process but it may be expedited because it's a stimulus project," Fannin said.
Robert Schell, PennDOT maintenance manager for Mifflin and Juniata counties, said sometimes a bridge project can take awhile to complete and it depends on a variety of factors.
Across the nine-county area covered by PennDOT District 2, which includes Mifflin and Juniata counties, stimulus money will underwrite 14 projects totaling more than $66 million - work that could mean jobs for nearly 2,000 people.
In addition to stimulus spending, PennDOT will invest more than $108 million this year on road and bridge projects in the nine-county region. Part of this investment reflects continuation of Gov. Edward Rendell's Rebuild Pennsylvania Program, which aims to have work started this fiscal year on 411 structurally deficient bridges across the state. Contracts already have been awarded for 222 of these bridges statewide.
"Here in District 2, we have opened bids for 26 bridges with a value of roughly $16 million under the Rebuild Pennsylvania program," Biehler said.
State of bridges in JV/ Planned projects
Of the more than 500 bridges in the Juniata Valley, roughly 140 are listed by PennDOT as structurally deficient, according to numbers released by the department in December 2008.
Among those bridges listed as structurally deficient, several are slated to go to bid this year and some of these may be ready for construction as well.
Work is under way on several bridges in the area that are listed as structurally deficient, including the Little Kish Creek Bridge on Route 305 near Belleville. PennDOT will replace the current, single span bridge with a new, single span concrete box beam bridge. Wen-Brooke Contracting Inc. is the contractor on this $795,000 project.
Fannin said the state Route 35 bridge project between Mifflintown and Mifflin continues to move through the PennDOT design process. The project features a new bridge for vehicle traffic, a new railroad bridge and a new pedestrian bridge. Mifflin Borough has previously agreed to assume ownership of and maintenance responsibility for the foot bridge.
"We expect the projects to go out for bid in August of 2010. Approved costs on the projects are approximately $16 million," Fannin said.
Other projects up for bid this year include the following:
Bridge replacement on Hammer Hollow Road in Milford Township - Expected let is mid-April with an estimated cost under $1 million.
State Route 850 bridge replacement over Laurel Run in Tuscarora Township - let in early March; cost under $1.5 million.
State Route 3014 bridge replacement over Willow Run in Tuscarora Township - let in mid-February; cost just over $1 million.
State Route 3021 bridge preservation on Tuscarora Creek bridge in Tuscarora Township - expected to let for bid in mid-March; estimated cost of $1.5 million.
State Route 35, group job on various roadways in Juniata County, resurfacing and sealcoat - expected to let mid-May; estimated cost of $1 million.
State Route 4003 bridge replacement over Licking Creek in Milford Township - expected to let mid-December; estimated cost of $2 million.
State Route 333 Tributary to Hunter's Run Box Culvert replacement in Beech Creek Township - Materials will be purchased through contract; work will be completed by county maintenance forces; expected to let mid-December; estimated cost of $140,000.
State Route 2002 Belltown Box culvert - Materials will be purchased through contract.; work is county maintenance forces; expected to let mid-March; estimated cost of $150,00.
State Route 2002 Bridge replacement over Belltown Run - let in mid-January; cost just over $278,000.
State Route 2007 Bridge replacement in Lewistown Borough - expected to let in mid-June; estimated cost between $1.7 and $1.9 million.
Group job on various roadways in Mifflin and Clinton counties, resurfacing and sealcoat - expected to let in mid-June; estimated cost of $2 million.