Penn Forest reviews plans for N. Old Stage Road bridge replacement
The Penn Forest Township supervisors inspected plans for a proposed bridge replacement in the township Monday night.
The supervisors welcomed two officials from PennDOT to discuss the replacement of a bridge carrying North Old Stage Road over Mud Run.
The existing bridge is classified as being in poor condition and is posted with a maximum weight of 3 tons. The replacement will be approved to hold legal loads up to 40 tons, PennDOT officials said.
PennDOT plans to replace the bridge in summer 2021. A detour will be in place for up to six months as the project is completed, according to Duane Gaugler of Larson Design Group.
The bridge is owned by Carbon County, but PennDOT is overseeing the project using state and federal funds. County commissioners Wayne Nothstein and Bill O’Gurek were in attendance at the meeting.
Gaugler and PennDOT’s Laura Montgomery presented drawings showing the new bridge and the proposed detour, which would use Henning Road and Route 534. They also asked residents to fill out a survey with questions about the project.
The last major upgrades to the bridge were made in 1970, but parts of the bridge are even older, Gaugler said.
Gaugler said they will replace the current steel I-beam bridge with a new prestressed concrete structure.
The space beneath the new bridge will be 23 percent larger than the current one. That means it will be less likely that water will flow over Old Stage Road during severe storms, Gaugler said.
Mud Run is classified as a cold water fishery with migratory fishes. Because of that, work can’t take place in the stream between Oct. 1-Dec. 31. Gaugler said despite the shortened window for construction, he expects the replacement to be finished in 2021.
One neighboring property owner raised questions about how much larger the new bridge abutments would be compared to the existing ones.
The township manager of neighboring Kidder Township asked if the detour would be in place for the entire six months.
Penn Forest Township Supervisors’ Chairman Warren Reiner said several other property owners were invited to inspect the plans but did not attend Monday’s meeting.
“I think the main question that I’ve had asked from most people who live around there is when does it start, when does it finish,” Reiner said.
Gaugler agreed to leave the drawings of the project at the township building in case any other residents wanted to look at them.