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.