New Route 272 bridge opened over Cocalico Creek

By on June 8, 2016
Workers prepare the new Route 272 bridge doing the finishing cleaning touches

Workers prepare the new Route 272 bridge doing the finishing cleaning touches. Photo by Pat Burns.

Workers officially completed PennDOT’s $4.2 million bridge replacement project June 3 when the new Route 272 bridge over Cocalico Creek opened to two lanes of traffic.

The temporary signals along the Old Mill Road detour remained in place until Friday morning (June 3).

PennDOT workers did the line eradication and pavement marking chores at those intersections —where the temporary signals were — on Monday morning, said Mike Crochunis, PennDOT spokesman.

“There is additional work to complete on the project even though we are opening the bridge,” he said.

While the project was to be completed by June 3, but PennDOT said it will need a time-extension to complete a few items that are no fault of the contractor.

The Ephrata Review was there when the two lanes were reopened across the Route 272 Bridge. Readers can see more photos and video as the Ephrata Review vehicle was the third vehicle and first car to traverse the bridge in the northbound lane in more than a year.

After just over a year of work, the new Route 272 bridge over Cocalico Creek in Ephrata is again open to northbound traffic, the state Department of Transportation has announced.

Engineers determined that the original bridge, built in 1944, had become structurally deficient. PennDOT had initially suggested the bridge would be closed for a 450-day detour along a busy stretch of Reading Road-Route 272.

The bridge was replaced one half at a time beginning last spring. Southbound traffic continued to cross it, but northbound traffic was detoured onto State Street and Old Mill Road.

PennDOT said some minor work remains at the bridge, including the completion of drainage and removal of the detour’s temporary traffic signals.

“There is some drainage work to complete on the south side of the bridge along with a driveway to pave once the pipe is installed,” Crochunis said. “There are also some trees to plant during the next planting season. There will be minimal impacts to traffic. Mostly when loading and unloading equipment for the pipe work and hauling material away from trenching.”

Residents, such as Bryan J. Foard were thrilled that the bridge was reopened ahead of schedule.

“I will take it, nicely done to their crew,” he noted on the Ephrata Review Facebook page. “I am glad to have a safer wider bridge with walk ways; so for someone who crosses that bridge at least 4 times a day, the hassle was worth it!”

Alicia Steffy summed it simply: “Wow, how exciting.”

While the detour off State Street is over and the temporary lights have been removed along Old Mill Road, several other construction spots have opened.

They included State Street detour between Main and Fulton streets; a detour blocking westbound Mohler Church Road at the State Street intersection; and a one-lane closure along Route 272 in front of McDonald’s at the Cloister Shopping Center.

Other projects include construction at the Rothsville Road and South State Street intersection between Wendy’s and the newly constructed Dunkin Donuts, which appears to be close to opening for business.

Ephrata Borough 2016 Street and Ally Improvements:

1) Niss Avenue from South Reading Road to James Avenue – Full Depth Pavement Reclamation and Overlay.

2) Steinmetz Road from South Reading Road to Culvert — Mill and Overlay.

3) Akron Road from Borough Line to Pavers Lane — Mill and Overlay.

4) Rose Alley from Grape Alley to Lincoln Avenue — Reconstruction.

5) Cedar Hill Alley from East Pine Street to East Pine Street – Reconstruction;

6) Stunzi Alley from West Locust Street to West Chestnut Street – Reconstruction; and

7) Hazel Alley from Terrace Avenue to Stunzi Alley — Reconstruction.

Patrick Burns is a social media editor and staff writer for The Ephrata Review. He welcomes your questions and comments and can be reached at pburns.eph@lnpnews.com or at 721-4455.

 

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