Bridge work moves ahead
Gail Maholick/TIMES NEWS Sidewalks on Forge Street are closed to pedestrians during the bridge reconstruction project.
Forge Street in Weissport is closed to traffic and vehicle parking while workers begin the major rehabilitation of the McCall Bridge, which runs directly above the street.
Arland Moyer, council member, said any cars parked on Forge Street will be towed if they are in the way of the construction workers.
Last week, Gene Kershner, council president, had said that signs are up and that Forge Street will be closed to traffic.
Signs are posted that pedestrian traffic will not be allowed on Forge Street during the rehabilitation.
Kershner said that White and Franklin streets will remain open during the construction so residents have access to their homes.
This past week homes underwent exterior video surveillance to determine whether or not the rehabilitation of the McCall Bridge will cause any observable damage to homes.
Kershner said the video taping was only a precaution.
He noted that when the bridge work was done last time there was very little damage to homes although some homes "shook" during the blasting.
Workers were busy this week preparing for work underneath the bridge. The tennis court is a staging area for materials and equipment.
Weissport residents will be greatly impacted during the rehabilitation project.
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation will detoured traffic in one direction where Route 2010 Bridge Street crosses one track of the Norfolk Southern Railway Company in Weissport.
Rehabilitation of the bridge will continue throughout the spring and summer. It will involve a complex detour route.
The $10-million to $11-million project involves a rehabilitation of the structure, which carries Route 209 traffic across the Lehigh River, Lehigh Canal, Norfolk Southern Railroad and other local roads.
The structural rehabilitation includes deck repairs, new latex modified concrete overlay on the existing deck, new integral approach slabs at each end of the bridge, replacement of all 17 deck joints, placing new protective fencing along both barriers, replacing existing drainage scuppers and new downspout systems.
The superstructure repairs include cleaning and repainting the entire superstructure, stiffening gusset plates in the truss spans, adding floor beam cover plates and girder stiffeners to increase capacity.
Substructure repairs include replacing/rehabilitating bearings, repairing deteriorated concrete on piers and abutments, and reconstructing pier 4, and placing additional protection at piers 2 and 3.
Temporary traffic patterns in Weissport and surrounding the bridge are expected to last three to four months. During that time, Weissport traffic on Bridge Street will be one way for the entire two lanes.
PennDOT will install temporary traffic lights at the intersection of Bankway and Bridge Street at the Lehighton end of the Weissport/Lehighton bridge to help with traffic flow.
The McCall Bridge, built in 1938, was last rehabilitated in 1981.
In 2007 during a routine inspection, the bridge was given the fifth worst score of all state-owned deck truss highway bridges.
Workers are scheduled to work from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday with some occasional Friday shifts.
During bridge jacking and placement of the latex modified concrete, workers will add night work hours from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.
The detour is scheduled to reopen on Sept. 5, 2014.
J.D. Eckman Inc. of Atglen is the contractor for the $11.8 million project.
Completion date for the project is May 19, 2015.