PennDOT replaces hundreds of structurally deficient bridges

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Hundreds of bridges like the Spanglers Mill Road Bridge are part of PennDOT’s “Rapid Bridge Replacement Project.”

Officials say it help millions of Pennsylvania drivers. 

“People are getting safer bridges, bridges that will last longer, with minimal impact,” said Erin Waters-Trasatt, Press Secretary for PennDOT. 

The project started in 2015, and the goal is to replace 558 structurally deficient bridges across the state. 

“There are more than 450 bridges already constructed and open to traffic. Nearly 90 are under construction,” said Waters-Trasatt. 

The wet summer has had an impact on the project with some construction expected to still be taking place next year. Three years after construction began, the bulk of the project will be finished before the end of the year. 

“We would have taken anywhere from 8 to 12 years to complete these projects in our normal process. So, these are getting done much faster,” said Waters-Trasatt. 

Most of the bridges being replaced are smaller bridges in rural communities. 

“They’re critical for our rural communities, and for farmers and for other businesses,” said Waters-Trasatt. 

The nearly $900 million project is the first of its kind in the nation. Before construction began, PennDOT identified bridges of similar size and design, to help cut down on time and costs. 

“You can pre-fabricate the parts of the bridges off site and bring them to install them. So, there are a lot of ways to make this efficient. So, we’re getting a lot of bridges taken off our poor list faster than they would have otherwise,” said Waters-Trasatt. 

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