Expedite work on Route 116 bridge in Spring Grove

Kim Hersh, co-owner of A Little Bit of Heaven, makes up a lunch board to place along Main Street in Spring Grove Monday Jan. 30, 2012. Hersh worries that a long bridge replacement process will cut off her traffic flow of 22,000 cars per day.

York County has many crumbling bridges that need to be repaired or replaced, and officials are slowly working to address those issues. That’s good news. But those projects come with some pain in the form of traffic tie-ups and detours.

That will be the case with the replacement of the Route 116 bridge in Spring Grove.

The project, slated to begin this spring, will take an estimated 10 months — a real nuisance for drivers in the area who will be detoured. PennDOT spokesman Greg Penny said the original plan was to keep one lane open during the project, but the Glatfelter Co. requested full closure to hasten completion.

Glatfelter recently completed an approximately $750,000 temporary bridge to carry company trucks and emergency vehicles over the Codorus Creek. A company spokesman said the temporary bridge was well worth the investment to avoid long, costly detours for company trucks.

That’s smart, but other local businesses — and citizens — will also be affect by the Route 116 bridge closure.

Those inconvenienced drivers might wonder: Why does it take 10 months to replace a fairly small bridge? In York County, enormous warehouses of more than a million square feet have been built in about that amount of time.

Mr. Penny explains that concrete bridges take time because crews have to wait for the concrete to dry.

That’s understandable, but even so, wouldn’t it make sense to incentivize the contractor for early completion of the project? PennDOT, which recently received a low bid of $4.3 million for the project, should consider including a contract clause that would encourage builders to put all hands on (the bridge) deck to get this job done as early as possible.

About Scott Fisher

I'm opinion page editor and blogging coordinator for the York Daily Record/Sunday News and Yorkblog.com. Phone: 717-771-2049. Email: sfisher@ydr.com. Twitter: YDReditpage.
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4 Responses to Expedite work on Route 116 bridge in Spring Grove

  1. Wayne Houck says:

    When was the old Spring Grove bridge originally built.
    The use of road salts has really taken its toll on it.

    Why don’t they replace it with a pre-constructed concrete/steel structure?
    10 months is a long time for a detour.

  2. Scott Fisher says:

    That’s an excellent question, Wayne! Not sure if it’s possible to do that, but if we can send a man to the moon…. Right?

  3. JR says:

    While we’re asking questions of PennDOT, how about asking whether those open grate bridge being replaced (needlessly, IMHO) could be recycled to widen the underpasses on PA 616 between Glen Rock and Railroad.

    The open grates could be placed over the “half” of the underpass occupied by the stream. When the stream floods the waters would pass through the grate. Most of the time there would be two useable lanes—as for the other times….would it be any different than what we have now?

  4. ken fink jr says:

    how much longer is the bridge replacement gonna take?

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