The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is speaking out about the upcoming 903 bridge project in Jim Thorpe.

Ronald Young, district press officer for PennDOT, said via email this week that an article from last week's Carbon County commissioners' meeting, needed a few clarifications because some of the information reported was "premature."

He explained that PennDOT is not sure yet if the project will be completed in two years, which Commissioner Thomas J. Gerhard was quoted stating in the article; and added that the public will be notified about the time frame for the bridge project "once the contract is executed and a notice-to-proceed date is given to the contractor."

Currently, Young noted, the contract for the replacement of the Route 903 bridge is in pre-award status, which means there is an apparent low bidder. The documents are being reviewed before the contract is awarded.

PennDOT has been working on plans for the construction of a new bridge for almost a decade. The estimated $37 million project is expected to start early next year and will be funded by 80 percent federal funds and 20 percent state funds.

The new bridge, according to a November 2012 project description from PennDOT, will be a 963-foot steel and concrete structure, which a reinforced concrete deck, two 12-foot wide traffic lanes, a 14-foot wide right turn lane going southbound, and an eight-foot shoulder on the northbound lane. There will also be a median barrier that will separate vehicular and an eight-foot wide sidewalk. It will connect directly with North Street on the east side of the borough.