Knobsville Bridge Project Under Way
Two years after public comment was received regarding the possible demolition and reconstruction of the Licking Creek bridge, Friday marked the official start of an ongoing motorist detour around the construction site located on Great Cove Road near the border of Todd and Dublin townships.
The 40-mile-per-hour temporary runaround crosses Licking Creek just south of the existing bridge, as was initially disclosed to the public by Pennsylvania Department of Transportation officials during a public meeting in July 2007. The two-lane detour veers off Great Cove Road just south of Knobsville Road, crosses the creek and travels onto Narrows Road before reentering Great Cove Road.
Preliminary figures for the project that falls just shy of the $1.7 million mark showed the project would conclude within four months. Tentative completion date for the project, however, is currently listed at November 16, 2010. Officials remain hopeful, weather permitting, they can continue working throughout the winter months on demolition and constructing new footers and abutments.
According to PennDOT community relations coordinator Tara Callahan-Henry, in addition to constructing the bridge runaround, the existing twospan bridge in Knobsville will be replaced with a 66-foot singlespan spread box beam. The change in bridge span will equate to an additional five feet by utilizing 11-foot lanes and fivefoot shoulders.
Callahan-Henry said the approach roadway work will be minimal, and the pavement between East Dutch Corner and Narrows roads will be replaced.
Furthermore, once the bridge and roadway have been completed, traffic will be shifted back onto Great Cove Road. The temporary runaround will then be removed, and the intersection will be restored to its original condition, Callahan- Henry concluded.
The entire project is being overseen by contractors Cottle’s Asphalt of Everett.
When plans were first announced to the public, primary concerns for local residents included tractor-trailers, milk tankers and farm equipment navigating the Narrows by accessing Johnston’s Drive. Johnston’s Drive, which has a number of twists and turns, is frequently used by walkers and has been closed to motorists on occasion due to water lying on the roadway.
Meanwhile, other residents expressed their concerns about how the Licking Creek bridge construction could affect the local, fishing hot spot.