Construction to begin on Pennypack Creek Bridge

The bridge will be closed, and traffic will be detoured during construction between Solly Avenue and Ashburner Street.

Sending reinforcements: Pennypack Creek Bridge is the oldest bridge still in use in the United States. Construction to rehabilitate the bridge is scheduled to begin Monday, March 26. TIMES FILE PHOTO

Gov. Tom Wolf announced that construction is scheduled to begin Monday, March 26, on an improvement project to rehabilitate seven structurally deficient bridges, including the U.S. 13 (Frankford Avenue) bridge over Pennypack Creek.

That’s the oldest bridge still in use in the United States.

“The bridge improvement will not only ensure driver and pedestrian safety but also preserve a very important part of our local and national history.” said state Sen. John Sabatina Jr.

PennDOT’s contractor will rehabilitate the stone arch bridge by removing and rebuilding the north spandrel wall; excavating and replacing of the arch backfill with lightweight concrete; repairing deteriorated concrete along the arch barrel and repointing stone masonry along the arch barrel; reconstructing damaged stone masonry parapet walls; reconstructing the sidewalks; and replacing the bridge barrier with a new crashworthy bridge barrier. The project scope also includes installation of scour protection measures where needed.

Work will continue through August.

The bridge will be closed, and traffic will be detoured during construction between Solly Avenue and Ashburner Street. During the five-month closure, motorists will be detoured over Rhawn Street, Torresdale Avenue and Linden Avenue. Local access will be maintained up to the construction zone. Detour routes and aids to navigation signs will be posted for pedestrians and recreational users of Pennypack Creek, respectively.

Built in 1697 and reconstructed in 1893, the bridge is a three-span stone masonry and concrete closed spandrel arch structure. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the bridge is 73 feet long and 50 feet wide and carries about 14,745 vehicles a day, including SEPTA’s Route 66 trolley.

Loftus Construction Inc., of Cinnaminson, New Jersey, is the general contractor on this $7.22 million bridge improvement project that is financed with 80 percent federal and 20 percent state funds.

For more information visit projects.penndot.gov ••