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New Silver Valley Road bridge nearly completed

The new bridge on Silver Valley Road in Chestnuthill Township is nearly completed.

“It is looking like two weeks until you can walk across it and another 14 days to let the concrete strengthen. Then you could have a ribbon-cutting ceremony,” said Jason Snyder, construction engineer and owner of Effective Technical Applications, Inc.

His company is the lead on the project, and E.F. Possinger is the contractor.

The bridge project has been going on for two months. The new one is an instant bridge, meaning that its installment takes less time.

“This new bridge is significantly wider than the road,” said Snyder.

The previous bridge was closed on Christmas Eve 2018 because it failed the state’s routine inspection.

Its steel was determined to no longer be safe.

The township closed the bridge and set up detour routes for motorists.

Due to budget constraints, the township had to delay replacing the bridge.

They applied for grants but did not receive any, said John Mathews, Chestnuthill Township economic development coordinator and grant writer.

They are using dedicated infrastructure account funds.

“Last week we started with the second abutment and it went pretty quickly. The painter came out to stain the bridge,” Snyder said.

The workers passed around a hat to pay for the staining, he said.

“Budget-wise the township just couldn’t afford to do it,” said Chairman Carl B. Gould II.

Gould asked Snyder to provide him with a list of names so the supervisors could personally thank them for contributing to the bridge’s eye appeal.

When Snyder left the job site to attend a meeting this week, they had the fourth beam in place and were about to put in the fifth.

He showed the supervisors photos he has taken. They showed the progress the crews have made.

Crews will put in the rebars and do the concrete deck next week. The bridge wings will then be stained, he said.

The next supervisors meeting is at 7 p.m. on Oct. 6.

The new bridge on Silver Valley Road in Chestnuthill Township is a couple weeks from completion. The old bridge was closed on Christmas Eve 2018 because the strength of its steel failed a routine state inspection. Motorists have had to detour around the area. STACI L. GOWER/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS