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Meadville Tribune article: Two-week closure to Woodcock bridge is in mid-February

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January 11, 2017

An article recently published in the Meadville Tribune outlines construction plans for the Route 886 (Main Street) bridge project, spanning Gravel Run in Woodcock Borough. 

WOODCOCK — A bridge passing over Gravel Run on Route 86/Main Street in Woodcock borough originally scheduled for construction in April has been bumped up for work to begin in February, beginning with a two-week closure.

A public meeting was held Monday in Cambridge Springs to discuss plans, show maps and detours and address public concerns about the project, according to Jeff Rossi, public information coordinator with Walsh Granite, who presented the public meeting.

The tentative start date for the bridge replacement project, weather permitting, is Feb. 13, according to Rossi.

"We have the option to close the road for up to two weeks," Rossi said. "We plan to take advantage of the opportunity to close it in order to make it easier to get ready for the project." After the two-week closure the bridge will be open to one lane of traffic throughout the duration of the project.

While Rossi said all work on the bridge is weather-dependent, the hope is to get started on the project in February and have the project completed by July.

PENNCREST School District Supervisor of Plant and Transportation Patrick Connelly informed board members of the upcoming project and its impact on transportation in the district at Monday's school board work session. The only issue Connelly predicted was involving Cambridge Springs Junior-Senior High School students who attend the Crawford County Career and Technical Center.

"I'm in contact with the CCCTC and we're working on the issue," Connelly told board members.

The bridge being replaced is located near the intersection of Route 86 and Gravel Run Road in the borough and passes over Gravel Run. It is one of seven bridges in Crawford County to be replaced through the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation Rapid Bridge Replacement Project.

Rossi told members of the public gathered for a meeting about the bridge last February that traffic would not be detoured during the project. "The bridge will be replaced one half at a time," Rossi said.

A Public Private Partnership (P3) project was awarded by PennDOT to the Plenary Walsh Keystone Partners (PWKP) consortium. The commonwealth is taking advantage of the P3 tool signed into law to address the state's roughly 4,000 structurally deficient bridges.

PWKP will replace 558 bridges throughout the state in three years, completing construction by the end of 2017. The approximate cost of the entire project throughout the state is $899 million. The bridges are primarily crossings over smaller state highways, many in rural areas, rather than interstate bridges or large river crossings.

PWKP is providing a 25-year guarantee with each replaced bridge. "We will be responsible to fix anything that goes wrong with a bridge for 25 years," Rossi said. "PennDOT will plow it in the winter, but if anything went wrong that would be our responsibility."

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