Main Street Bridge to reopen to traffic Friday afternoon
An aerial view of the bridge that connects Walnutport and Slatington. Scan this photo for a video. BOB FORD/TIMES NEWS
Much to the delight of motorists, the Main Street Bridge that connects Slatington and Walnutport is expected to be open to traffic sometime Friday afternoon.
Project manager Tim Hendricks of H&K Group said Thursday morning that the bridge is “tentatively scheduled to open the end of the day tomorrow.”
Hendricks said there’s a 90 percent chance the bridge will reopen Friday sometime between 2-5 p.m.
“It’s a good job all the guys have done,” Hendricks said. “Our guys worked extra hours to make sure we got done on time, and as it turns out, a day early.”
Hendricks added he’s “extremely pleased” with how the bridge has turned out.
Alice Wanamaker, of the Greater Northern Lehigh Chamber of Commerce, said the chamber has planned a ribbon-cutting and bridge reopening party sometime after the bridge reopens on Friday.
Pennsylvania Department of Transportation spokesman Ron Young said there will be times when additional work will require lane restrictions, and updates will be provided when they occur.
Young said most of that work will take place in the spring.
Young said last month that the bridge was scheduled to be open on or before Oct. 20.
After several delays, the Main Street Bridge, over the Lehigh River, finally closed in August.
Although the bridge has been closed to vehicles, plans were made so that emergency medical services were still able to use it.
Eighteen Northern Lehigh district vehicles, buses, minibuses and vans have had to use the detour through the Lehigh Gap, which added travel time to each of those runs in the morning and afternoon. Some buses added more than an hour of travel time, cumulatively, Superintendent Matthew Link said.
Its deck, originally constructed in 1969, had been rated as poor, and the bridge is being replaced with a 48.5-foot-wide by 419-foot-long deck.
This section of Main Street has an average daily traffic volume of 10,015 vehicles.
The Main Street Bridge is one of four in the Lehigh Valley being repaired under a $2.5 million contract.
Work on the bridges include repairing steel, decks, beams, bearings, joints and scouring countermeasures for the bridges over waterways.
The general contractor to repair the bridges is H&K Group of Skippack, Montgomery County.
Traffic has been detoured on Route 873, Route 145 and Route 248.
Pedestrian access was maintained on the bridge during the deck replacement.