PennDOT will fortify bridge in Lehighton
GAIL MAHOLICK/TIMES NEWS Outer areas of the Ninth Street Bridge in Lehighton are closed because some rotational movement of the two wing walls on the southern abutment (Route 443 side) was discovered by a PennDOT inspection. Repairs are planned for sometime this year.
Motorists who travel on the Ninth Street Bridge in Lehighton, which intersects with SR443, have experienced traffic flow restrictions for some time.
There had been a right-turn lane for travel coming from the bridge and turning right onto westbound Route 443.
Barriers were installed several feet from the railings on both sides of the bridge, making two traffic flow lanes.
Ronald Young, district press officer for the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, said an inspection of the bridge determined there was some rotational movement of the two wing walls on the southern abutment (Route 443 side).
He said plans are being developed to install concrete bracing to prevent further movement of the wing walls, and the bridge unit anticipates the repairs to take place sometime in 2012.
Earlier this year, Lehighton Borough said it will work with PennDOT and move a utility pole for the project.
Because there was concern about the bridge, at least one trucking company has detoured its trucks from the bridge.
The bridge spans Mahoning Creek. During periods of very heavy rain, it is not uncommon to have the water level of the creek as high as the bridge deck.
It was not stated exactly when the bracing work will occur.