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West End bridge opens after 2 years

The Silver Valley Road bridge is finally completed and open to traffic.

The bridge failed inspection two years ago because of a major structural defect that had to be repaired.

There was some confusion that first Friday because a text message went out just before noon telling drivers in Chestnuthill Township the bridge was open, but the road closed signs were still up.

It was just a timing issue, according to David Albright, Chestnuthill Township manager. “The text was sent out while the men were on lunch, so the signs weren’t removed until their lunch was over.”

Traffic was light Friday, but Albright said he was sure residents will be happy.

“We were there a day or so ago finishing up, and a guy stopped and asked when it was going to be finished. When I told him it would be open in just a few days, the guy was happy,” he said.

The section of Silver Valley Road that was closed was a half mile north of Route 209. People had to take Route 715 to Cottontail Lane to avoid the closure.

“The bridge was actually closed on Christmas Eve 2018. The township applied for a grant and it took a while to find out. Unfortunately, we didn’t get the grant,” Albright said.

Not getting the grant meant Chestnuthill Township had to find another source, so the decision was made to use funds from the township’s infrastructure funds.

Once the bridge was started in mid-July, it moved along quickly. It was just getting the funds to build it that took some time, according to the township manager.

The bridge on Silver Valley Road in Chestnuthill Township was opened to traffic late Friday afternoon. AMY LEAP/TIMES NEWS