December 26, 2017
The bridge carrying Smokestown Road (State Route 1034) over Swamp Creek in East Cocalico Township, Lancaster County, reopened to
traffic at around 3:30 PM on Saturday, December 23. This bridge was replaced as part of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation's (PennDOT) Rapid Bridge Replacement Project and allows PennDOT to remove it from the state's structurally deficient bridge list.
The bridge was closed on October 30 for the replacement project. The original closure was scheduled for 75 days, but the project team was able to expedite construction and complete the project 14 days ahead of schedule. Replacement work for this bridge was performed by Clearwater Construction of Mercer, PA.
The new crossing is longer and wider than the one it replaced and is designed with a 100-year lifespan.
With the bridge reopened, motorists may notice a slight bump as they drive across the bridge until a polyester polymer concrete (PPC) overlay is applied to the deck. This is often the final step in completing box beam bridge projects. The PPC overlay is designed to protect the deck from the wear and tear brought about by Pennsylvania’s harsh winters and reduce the long-term maintenance costs.
The polyester material can only be applied when temperatures are consistently above 40 degrees, dry weather is forecasted and after the bridge concrete has cured for at least 30 days. An alternating traffic pattern will be controlled by flaggers when the PPC overlay is applied in spring 2018.
To find out when the overlay will be applied to this structure, visit www.parapidbridges.com/polyesterpolymerconcreteoverlay.html. In the event of unfavorable weather, this schedule may change. Any such changes will be posted on the website.
This bridge is referred to as JV-266 and is one out of the 558 bridges being replaced under the Rapid Bridge Replacement Project. JV references the joint-venture partnership between Walsh/Granite, which is leading construction for the entire project.