Bridge replacement is delayed one year
The replacement of a bridge over Catasauqua Creek on Race Street in Catasauqua will be no simple matter. Not for the construction engineers, not for adjacent businesses and not for motorists.
At the Catasauqua Borough Council meeting March 6, Ken Baker of Walsh/Granite JV discussed the proposed plan.
The project was originally scheduled for an April 2017 start, but that is being delayed a year.
“I’ve talked with some of the local businesses in the area to make sure we are able to get deliveries to them during the construction,” he said. “This is going to be a tough project.”
One problem Baker cited was the structural integrity of the existing bridge.
“It looks like it was a single-lane span at one time and then another lane was added,” he said. Borough Manager Eugene Goldfeder confirmed the bridge was completed at different times.
According to Baker, the arched portion of the bridge will be removed first.
“The other side is a narrower ... so we may have some problems,” he said.
Wash/Granite JV has a contract with the state to replace 586 Pennsylvania bridges under PennDOT’s fast track program.
As reported in an earlier meeting, extensive detours are expected to route motorists far out of the way and to send heavy traffic onto borough streets.
In a related matter, the council approved a PennDOT payment of $20,200 for right of way access across borough property along the bridge. Business owners were presented with offers for access along their properties.
According to Baker, the easiest and quickest way to get the project done would be to close the bridge entirely, but instead, one lane will be open throughout the project.
“The road carries so much traffic that we aren’t permitted to do that,” he said.