Senator Bob Mensch (R-Montgomery, Berks, Bucks) and Senator John Rafferty (R- Berks, Chester, Montgomery) announced the bridge connecting Graterford Road to Route 29, which was closed just weeks ago due to significant structural problems, is on track to be replaced as soon as 2015 with money from the recent transportation funding law he voted for in the state Capitol.
“This bridge is vital to the community, residents, commuters and more,” said Mensch. “Thanks to the funding from the transportation funding bill and the quick action by PennDOT and community leaders, we have a working plan in place to establish a new bridge that will safely carry fire trucks, ambulances, school buses and other vehicles.”
Senator Mensch, Senator Rafferty and several other state legislators spoke with stakeholders from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), Perkiomen Township and Skippack Township, to bring all three together and identify the plan of action.
Many travelers are using the Plank Road Bridge as an alternative to the Graterford Road Bridge, which has added to traffic congestion in the area and on Route 29. The bridge connects Perkiomen Township and Skippack Township.
Traffic congestion at the intersection of Route 29 and Plank Road, as well as the intersection of Route 29 and Ott Road, is expected to increase while the Graterford Road Bridge is being reconstructed. The first phase of the process is aimed at streamlining traffic through these intersections with a new traffic pattern.
“We recognize that the bridge closure will result in more traffic congestion. We are working quickly to take action to improve the traffic at those points of congestion,” said Mensch.
The two piers that carry the current bridge will be used to hold the new bridge, which will cut down on the reconstruction timeframe. A new deck structure and road will be built on the existing piers. Reconstruction work on the Graterford Road Bridge is expected to begin in 2015. Funding for the reconstruction was made available through Act 89 of 2013.
“I will remain in direct contact with local elected officials, municipal workers and PennDOT to push this project forward,” said Mensch. “This bridge closure is not ideal but when it comes to the safety of the community, I hope that you will share my patience.”