The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation announced today a construction project to replace the structurally deficient PA 309 Bridge over the Little Schuylkill River in Tamaqua will begin September 6.

During the first phase of construction, the contractor will build a temporary roadway and two-lane bridge to carry traffic over the Little Schuylkill River during the first phase of construction.

The temporary bridge is scheduled to be completed by December.

Once the temporary bridge is complete, the second phase of construction will close the South Tamaqua Bridge and PA 309 traffic will be shifted onto the temporary bridge between Owl Creek Road and Railroad Street. During this phase traffic on PA 309 may experience sporadic restrictions.

Then during the third and final phase of construction traffic will be shifted back on the new bridge and the temporary bridge will be removed.

This project also includes the relocation of utility lines, drainage upgrades, new pedestrian walkways and new roadway approaches.

Work is scheduled to be completed in May 2013.

Clearwater Construction, Inc. of Mercer, Pa. is the general contractor on the $3,180,000 project.

The South Tamaqua Bridge over the Little Schuylkill River is a masonry stone arch bridge constructed in 1895. It is 107 feet long and 41 feet wide.

The new bridge will be a 103 feet long, 55.6 feet wide concrete bulb T-beam bridge.

PA 309 has an average daily traffic of 7,175 vehicles in South Tamaqua.

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