Lenape bridge closing for repairs next week

Updated at 4 p.m. with details of Wednesday's crash from police

Area residents are about to get an unexpected — and likely unwelcome — preview of what traffic will be like when the Route 926 Bridge is closed for six months, a reconstruction project presently scheduled to begin in February after more than a decade of delays.

State police from the Avondale barracks monitor the closure of the Lenape Road Bridge on Wednesday, May 18, after a truck overturned a load of pallets.

State police from the Avondale barracks monitor the closure of the Lenape Road Bridge on Wednesday, May 18, after a truck overturned a load of pallets.

On Monday, May 23, through Thursday, May 26, the nearby Lenape Road Bridge will be closed from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. between Pocopson Road and Creek Road in Pocopson Township, for bridge repairs, PennDOT said in a press release on Thursday, May 19.

Area motorists who got caught in traffic jams around 6 p.m. on Wednesday, May 18, after a truck failed to negotiate the turn from Creek Road onto Lenape Road may assume that incident necessitated the shutdown. However, Brad Rudolph, a PennDOT spokesman, said the repairs were planned in response to another trucking mishap a couple of months ago.

“It’s just a coincidence,” Rudolph said of Wednesday night’s accident.

Rudolph said that on March 10, another truck driver slammed into the bridge’s parapet on the Creek Road side, a collision that damaged the stone foundation. Rudolph said crews would be rebuilding the structure’s crumbling stone and filling in cracks as needed.

On Wednesday night, the cab of the truck remained upright after turning, but its trailer — loaded with pallets — ended up on its side, with some appearing to defy gravity as they dangled over the Brandywine Creek. State police from the Avondale barracks closed the bridge for several hours so the vehicle could be towed and the mess cleaned up.

Police said the 2013 Peterbilt truck was traveling south on Route 52 and carrying 550 wooden pallets when the driver, Edward D. Arnett Jr., 41, of Tidioute, Pa., attempted to turn right onto the Lenape bridge. The passenger's side wheels of the trailer struck the bridge embankment about 5:45 p.m., causing the trailer to roll over.

The crash added minor damage to the bridge embankment, which had been struck previously, police said, adding the Barnett was cited for careless driving.

During repairs to the Lenape Bridge, Route 52 (Lenape Road) motorists will be detoured over Pocopson Road, Route 926, (Street Road) and Creek Road, PennDOT said.

If the Route 926 project goes as planned, the total job will take a year, but detours will last only six months and access to businesses in the area of the bridge will be kept open. Work is expected to begin in February with the installation of a traffic light at Route 52 and Pocopson Road, according to PennDOT.

Once that light is working, approaches to the Route 926 Bridge would be closed and construction would begin, a process estimated at four months. The bridge approaches on both sides – in Pocopson and Birmingham townships — would be raised to prevent them from flooding when the Brandywine Creek spills its banks, which has been a frequent occurrence.

When that phase is finished, the Creek Road/Route 926 intersection would be closed for two months so that a stretch of Creek Road could be re-aligned and culverts could be installed over Radley Run, according to PennDOT.

According to Pocopson Township officials, area townships have partnered to brainstorm about ways to minimize the adverse impacts of the Route 926 Bridge closure, and they plan to meet with PennDOT at some point to discuss those ideas.



About CFLive Staff

See Contributors Page http://chaddsfordlive.com/writers/



1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (2 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.